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Thursday, April 18, 2013

World's first GMO Babies Born



Or were they? 

by Rebecca Taylor | London, England | LifeNews.com | 7/2/12 12:30 PM
Many people are talking about Michael Hanlon’s piece in the Daily Mail about the first genetically modified babies being born. 

A couple of readers have e-mailed this article to me (Rebecca) so I went to the journal of Human Reproduction looking for the latest issue and found nothing from Jacques Cohen. I then found that Dr. Cohen is the Laboratory Director at ART Institute of Washington at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Apparently he left Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of St Barnabas and works for a U.S. military hospital. (A fact that I find very disturbing.)
I scratched my head for a minute and dug deeper and think I have found the original paper. It was from 2001, not 2012
The technique is called “cytoplasmic transfer.” I did not start blogging until 2005, so I had no idea that this genetic engineering of embryos took place. I then found an in depth report in the Washington Monthly on the issue. Sharon Brownlee explains how the technique raised concerns at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and it seems they put a stop to cytoplasmic transfer in the United States:
In the mid-1990s, embryologist Jacques Cohen pioneered a promising new technique for helping infertile women have children. His technique, known as cytoplasmic transfer, was intended to “rescue” the eggs of infertile women who had undergone repeated, unsuccessful attempts at in vitro fertilization, or IVF. It involved injecting the cytoplasm found inside the eggs of a fertile donor, into the patient’s eggs.
When the first baby conceived through cytoplasmic transfer was born in 1997, the press instantly hailed Cohen’s technique as yet another technological miracle. But four years later, the real story has proven somewhat more complicated. Last year, Cohen and his colleagues at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of St. Barnabas, a New Jersey fertility clinic, set off alarm bells among bioethicists with the publication of a paper detailing the genetic condition of two the 17 cytoplasmic-transfer babies born through the clinic to date. The embryologists reported that they had endowed the children with extra bits of a special type of genetic material, known as mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA, which came with the cytoplasm transferred from the donor eggs to the patient’s.
Just how normal those children will turn out to be is anybody’s guess. At a recent meeting in Europe, the New Jersey researchers reported that one of the children conceived through cytoplasmic transfer has been diagnosed with “pervasive developmental disorder,” a catch-all term for symptoms that range from mild delays in speech to autism. Cohen’s group maintained that it is extremely unlikely that cytoplasmic transfer and the resulting mishmash of mtDNA is to blame.
But geneticists have only begun to trace the connections between mtDNA and a host of diseases ranging from strange metabolic ailments to diabetes and Lou Gehrig’s disease, and some experts argued that the child’s disorder may well be caused by a mismatch between the donor and mother’s mtDNA. As Jim Cummins, a molecular biologist at Murdoch University in Western Australia, put it: “To deliberately create individuals with multiple mitochondrial genotypes without knowing the consequences is really a step into the dark.”
Since 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has argued that genetically manipulated embryos are a “biological product,” and therefore subject to regulation, just like medical devices and drugs. But because of a quirk in federal law, the FDA’s authority in this sphere is far from certain.


But in a recent UK DailyMail publishing:
"The disclosure that 30 healthy babies were born after a series of experiments in the United States provoked another furious debate about ethics.

So far, two of the babies have been tested and have been found to contain genes from three 'parents'.
sciencetubes 235x147 Genetically Modified Babies Created in US   The Worlds First
Fifteen of the children were born in the past three years as a result of one experimental programme at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of St Barnabas in New Jersey.

John Smeaton, national director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said: 'One has tremendous sympathy for couples who suffer infertility problems. But this seems to be a further illustration of the fact that the whole process of in vitro fertilisation as a means of conceiving babies leads to babies being regarded as objects on a production line.

'It is a further and very worrying step down the wrong road for humanity.' Professor Cohen and his colleagues diagnosed that the women were infertile because they had defects in tiny structures in their egg cells, called mitochondria.

They took eggs from donors and, using a fine needle, sucked some of the internal material - containing 'healthy' mitochondria - and injected it into eggs from the women wanting to conceive.

Because mitochondria contain genes, the babies resulting from the treatment have inherited DNA from both women. These genes can now be passed down the germline along the maternal line.

A spokesman for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which regulates 'assisted reproduction' technology in Britain, said that it would not license the technique here (UK) because it involved altering the germline."


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-43767/Worlds-GM-babies-born.html#ixzz2QqqqFIHO
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http://naturalsociety.com/worlds-first-genetically-modified-babies-created-in-us/

http://www.lifenews.com/2012/07/02/worlds-first-genetically-modified-babies-born-or-were-they/


More of Rebecca's article
"...or were they?"


I want to discuss it because everything is not exactly how it seems.
Hanlon’s undated piece discusses a technique IVF doctors have used to “rejuvenate” an infertile woman’s eggs by injecting the cytoplasm of another woman’s healthy egg. Factors inside the cytoplasm help the infertile woman’s egg in fertilization. When doctors injected the cytoplasm of the healthy egg, it contained mitochondria from the donor egg. Those mitochondria have DNA from the woman who donated that egg. So the after that hybrid egg is fertilized, the resulting embryo has the DNA from 1 man, and 2 women. A genetic modification that any girl would pass onto her offspring since mitochondria are inherited from the mother only. The Daily Mail article reads:
The world’s first genetically modified humans have been created, it was revealed last night.
The disclosure that 30 healthy babies were born after a series of experiments in the United States provoked another furious debate about ethics.
So far, two of the babies have been tested and have been found to contain genes from three ‘parents’.
Fifteen of the children were born in the past three years as a result of one experimental programme at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of St Barnabas in New Jersey.
Full article:  
http://www.lifenews.com/2012/07/02/worlds-first-genetically-modified-babies-born-or-were-they/





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