In case you hadn’t heard, the UK just approved the creation of what people are calling “three-parent babies.” Now, where I come from, this has inevitably spawned a sermon or two about “playing god,” as well as a few horror fans imagining a new era full of bizarre roles for Benedict Cumberbatch to play.
The Guardian does a fantastic job of laying what is actually going on here, so there’s little I can do from here beyond expanding a few facts and gracing you with my own opinions.
To start, here’s the gist of the situation: the procedure that has been approved would involve replacing the mitochondrial DNA of a fertilized egg with DNA from an anonymous, female donor. This procedure would be used in cases where the biological mother has passed on defective mitochondrial DNA, which can lead to some pretty atrocious diseases in the child. Continue reading