Fertility Procedure Could Eliminate Genetic Diseases

FDA is considering the new procedure that could also give hope to women who can't have babies.
3:00 | 02/26/14

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Transcript for Fertility Procedure Could Eliminate Genetic Diseases
To the new headline on fertility that could allow doctors to eliminate certain genetic diseases in babies and give new hope to women who can't have babies. ABC's chief health and medicalette tore Dr. Richard Besser is here with much more. Robin, the science that the fda is considering is extremely complicated. As I was studying the reports lat evacuate last night at times it felt like I was Reading since fiction. Combining thegenetic material of three people to make a baby could wipe out potentially a whole category of incurable inherited diseases. The procedure sometimes called three parent ivf starts with the mother's egg. If there's problems with the mitochondrial DNA, they left out the nuclear cus and move it to a donor egg. Now the enhanced egg can be fertilized in a lab by the father's sperm and the embryo would be implanted back in the mother like regular ivf. Researchers in Oregon tried this in monkeys. It worked. They also tried it in human eggs but never implanted them. The fda saying the controversial procedure wasn't yet approved for human trials. This morning, questions remain. Is it safe and is it a good idea? So, rich, talk about the DNA that is the centerpiece. This is called might Cron dry yalt DNA. They have mitochondria that provide them with energy. They may have a baby with a birth defect. The idea you can make a fix before a baby is born so a couple can have a healthy baby is terrific. It's been done in monkeys. I think it could be done here. Of course, there are people that are concerned about the risks. That's right. What are they? I mean, there are risks. The idea that the change you make could lead to a birth defect that you aren't aware of or a problem in the next generation. How do you do the studies to even sort that out. The ethical component of it. Is this on the path to designer babies. You know, you make a change that prevents a deadly disease is one thing but are you on your way to selecting characteristics in a baby and do we really want to go there. Even that's not the intent but you don't know if that's the direction you would go. That's right. That's something they have to sort out before they move forward.

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