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Scientists Head Towards Creating Baby With Three Parents to Eliminate Disease
Life News ^ | 8/27/09 | Steven Ertelt

Posted on 08/27/2009 4:39:31 PM PDT by wagglebee

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The latest news from the world of genetic manipulation comes from scientists who are conducting research on monkeys that they say could lead to the birth of a human being with three parents in order to eliminate the possibility of inheriting and genes that could cause certain diseases or conditions.

Genetic engineering has long caused problems for pro-life advocates and bioethicists because of the manipulation involved and research that destroys human life in order to create a so-called perfect human race.

It also leads, they say, to a society which devalues the disabled and the physically and mentally disabled.

Despite the concerns, Shoukhrat Mitalipov, of the Oregon National Primate Research Centre, has moved forward with experiments in monkeys. His team created a technique that led to the birth of four healthy macaque monkeys.

The research involved the transplantation of genetic material in the DNA of one monkey into the egg of another to correct genetic defects that damage health.

The success of the technique, germline genetic engineering, could mean that it could be used in women in a matter of years to allow them to avoid passing along so-called harmful genes to their unborn children.

However, the technique makes it so the children it creates would inherit genetic material from three parents. The unborn baby's mother and father would contribute most of their child’s DNA but a small amount would come from a second woman donating healthy mitochondria, where defects can cause issues for one out of ever 6,500 people.

“The only way to treat these defects is to replace the genes,” Mitalipov told the London Daily mail newspaper.

“This is gene transfer involving the germline, which is a concern, but we are pursuing it not for general use but for patients with mutations they will pass to the next generation. We believe this technology will prevent that," he said.

His team published their findings in the journal Nature, where they modified eggs containing chromosomes from one female monkey and mitochondria from another and fertilized them using sperm. The resulting embryos were transferred to the wombs of surrogate mothers.

The first monkeys to be born were twins called Mito and Tracker, after a dye called MitoTracker used in the experiments. Two more monkeys were born after later experiments.

Tests showed that none of the monkeys had any trace of mitochondrial DNA from the mother that provided their nuclear DNA, suggesting that the process was successful.

“We consider it a big achievement,” Dr Mitalipov said. “Anything we study and achieve in non-human primates can be translated much more easily to humans.”

He told the Daily Mail that his would apply to the FDA for permission to try the technique with human eggs. Such research would have to wait for a few years for the longer-term results of the study involving the monkeys to produce enough data about their health.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bioethics; dna; genetics; moralabsolutes
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The "brave new world" is here and it's as hellish as ANYTHING Dante described.
1 posted on 08/27/2009 4:39:31 PM PDT by wagglebee
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2 posted on 08/27/2009 4:40:21 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

I see things like this and the only printable thought is “Lord Jesus, come quickly!”.


3 posted on 08/27/2009 4:41:33 PM PDT by Nervous Tick (Stop dissing drunken sailors! At least they spend their OWN money.)
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To: wagglebee

This is truly frightening.


4 posted on 08/27/2009 4:41:49 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: wagglebee

Geez! Can you imagine the courts cases for child support this will cause?

3 daddies, 3 mommies, 2 daddies and a mommy, 2 mommies and a daddy......


5 posted on 08/27/2009 4:42:55 PM PDT by Islander7 (If you want to anger conservatives, lie to them. If you want to anger liberals, tell them the truth.)
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To: wagglebee

Gee, it would be so awful if people could avoid passing on devastating mitochondrial defects to their children < /s>


6 posted on 08/27/2009 4:43:12 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker (Vote for a short Freepathon! Donate now if you possibly can!)
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To: wagglebee

So people with sickle cell anemia, trey sacks, cystic fibrosis can have children that are theirs without passing on the gene for those traits.

Selfish perhaps, with so many children who need adoption; but “hellish”?


7 posted on 08/27/2009 4:44:22 PM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be redistributed?)
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To: Nervous Tick; trisham

Do you even know what mitochondrial DNA is? Or what mitochondria are, for that matter?


8 posted on 08/27/2009 4:44:24 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker (Vote for a short Freepathon! Donate now if you possibly can!)
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To: wagglebee

Ja, das master race ist kommen, nicht?


9 posted on 08/27/2009 4:45:33 PM PDT by beethovenfan (If Islam is the solution, the "problem" must be freedom.)
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To: GovernmentShrinker

Isn’t that what makes you a Jedi? < KIDDING! >


10 posted on 08/27/2009 4:46:23 PM PDT by LongElegantLegs (It takes a viking to raze a village!)
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To: GovernmentShrinker
Gee, it would be so awful if people could avoid passing on devastating mitochondrial defects to their children < /s>

So, you SUPPORT this?

11 posted on 08/27/2009 4:47:07 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee
“The only way to treat these defects is to replace the genes,”

"so they'll only have to deal with personality defects later in life."

duh.

12 posted on 08/27/2009 4:47:22 PM PDT by ZinGirl ((optional, printed after your name on post) ha ha ha)
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To: beethovenfan

Not to mention the tortured monky!


13 posted on 08/27/2009 4:47:39 PM PDT by Boardwalk
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To: allmendream

Actually this doesn’t help with any of those diseases. Those are all due to defects in the main, nuclear DNA, that comes from both parents. Mitochondrial DNA is outside cell nuclei, in the mitochondria, and is passed down only maternally. This process substitutes normal, healthy mitochondria from a donor egg, for the mother’s genetically defective mitochondria.


14 posted on 08/27/2009 4:48:01 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker (Vote for a short Freepathon! Donate now if you possibly can!)
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To: wagglebee

Absolutely. And I don’t think you even understand what it is.


15 posted on 08/27/2009 4:48:45 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker (Vote for a short Freepathon! Donate now if you possibly can!)
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To: wagglebee

I’m sure this will turn out well...Not...


16 posted on 08/27/2009 4:55:03 PM PDT by Eagles6 ( Typical White Guy: Christian, Constitutionalist, Heterosexual, Redneck. (Let them eat arugula!))
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To: GovernmentShrinker
Thanks, I noticed that reading the entire article; but figured the same concept could be used for such diseases, with the defective allele “donated” from a third parent.

I think this “third parent” thing is a bit overstated. 49.99% from mom and 49.99% from mom and some 16,000 bp of mitochondrial sequence out of some 3 billion from a donor.

17 posted on 08/27/2009 4:58:22 PM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be redistributed?)
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To: GovernmentShrinker

What do you think it is?


18 posted on 08/27/2009 4:59:10 PM PDT by bushwon ("If you think healthcare is expensive now, just wait till it is free! "~ PJ O'Rourke)
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To: GovernmentShrinker

Oops...

Make that

“49.99% from dad, 49.99% from mom, and some 16,00 base pairs out of 3 billion from a donor”


19 posted on 08/27/2009 5:00:08 PM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be redistributed?)
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To: wagglebee

Now what could possibly go wrong here?


20 posted on 08/27/2009 5:04:01 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie ("UPS and FEDEX are doing fine. It's the Post Office that's always having problems." - 0bummer)
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To: wagglebee

This is great news for the socialists, perhaps they can start breeding children that contain dna from every citizen. These children would be everyone’s children, proving Hillary right in saying “It takes a village...”


21 posted on 08/27/2009 5:04:10 PM PDT by Teflonic
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To: GovernmentShrinker
Sounds helpful in the overall theme, but the question begs, how many embryos are destroyed to get just the right mix? What happens if the genetic defect is not from the mitochondria but was only thought to be and “slips” through? How many embryos are destroyed during the experimental processes due to human error?

I think experiments on living human beings, and yes, embryos ARE human life (all DNA is present and lacks only time, hospitable environment and nourishment to proceed to birth of baby) is what gives most people pause. Of course, there are always the eugenicists who place no intrinsic value on the human life, only the preferred outcome.

22 posted on 08/27/2009 5:08:13 PM PDT by boatbums (A man is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep for that which he cannot lose.)
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To: wagglebee

Parents will be a woman, a fish, and a bicycle...


23 posted on 08/27/2009 5:09:00 PM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: GovernmentShrinker
Do you even know what mitochondrial DNA is? Or what mitochondria are, for that matter?

From what I remember, they are little nodules of RNA within the protoplasm of an egg that are only passed down from the mother when the cells divide.

Was I close?

24 posted on 08/27/2009 5:27:01 PM PDT by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: GovernmentShrinker

And I seem to recall that a while back you and others were certain that the American government would NEVER try to turn a “right” to die into a duty to die.


25 posted on 08/27/2009 5:27:06 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: allmendream

Eventually I’m sure it will be possible to replace defective alleles on nuclear DNA — in most cases probably with a gene from whichever parent has a healthy version (unless of course it’s something on the little Y chromosome). But that’s wildly more complicated that replacing mitochondrial DNA. With mitochondrial DNA, they’re replacing the entire thing, which is a whole lot easier than replacing a little piece of very long strand of DNA, especially since it’s entirely outside the nucleus, so that the nuclear DNA doesn’t have to be disturbed at all. They just take the nucleus from the just-fertilized one cell zygote, and transfer it into an enucleated donor egg — this can be done by microsurgical techniques on the zygote and donor egg.

To replace a defective allele on a strand of nuclear DNA, you’d have to go into the nucleus, isolate and uncoil the chromosome where the defect was located, take out the tiny portion where the defect is located, insert a tiny portion containing a normal allele, and do this all in a way that doesn’t damage the strand of the DNA and prevent it from continuing to replicate. Realistically, this will never be doable by microsurgical techniques — it will require extremely customized genetic probes which are inserted into the nucleus, and which automatically seek out and latch onto the specific defective sequence, automatically remove it, automatically replace it with a normal sequence, and automatically reconnect the breaks in the strand which had to made to do the replacement, and then automatically detach from the strand.

This is theoretically doable, but to do it reliably enough to use in human reproduction is likely many years away. The find-and-latch-on step is already in use, but only on sample cells pulled from an embryo for genetic testing, not on a cell which will continue as part of the developing embryo. In other words, we already have the ability to create a custom probe which can be placed into a nucleus, where it will seek out a specific abnormal allele, e.g. Huntington’s Disease, latch onto it and put out a fluorescent glow to show that it has found and latched onto the target defect, thus revealing its presence. But that’s the end of the line for that particular cell. To actually fix the problem would require all the other steps. There may be a few specific defects that could be fixed without total replacement, if the defect involves only a transposition of a couple of nucleotides — I can see a next-generation probe being able to find, latch on, and swap a pair of neighboring nucleotides before disintegrating harmlessly and leaving the repaired allele behind. But for defects where the “misspelling” is more complex, it’s going to take a much more complex process.

Probably well before that technology is developed, we’ll have the technology to identify individual gametes that have a particular genetic defect, and just not use those gametes for fertilization (to a certain extent, there’s a method that can already accomplish this for eggs, but not for sperm). And then we’ll learn to swap out entire chromosomes (which probably can be done microsurgically), so that the defective allele would be replaced when the whole chromosome is replaced.


26 posted on 08/27/2009 5:40:12 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker (Vote for a short Freepathon! Donate now if you possibly can!)
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To: wagglebee

God will not allow this to continue for very long.


27 posted on 08/27/2009 6:01:54 PM PDT by ViLaLuz (2 Chronicles 7:14)
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To: GovernmentShrinker

DO you think that should be the only legal use for this capability?

Or do you think that, once it is perfected, that parents should be allowed to use this or other genetic techniques to manufacture their children any way they want?

How about this question: Should deaf parents be allowed to take positive steps to ensure that their children are deaf?

If we found a gay gene (I know, this is a hypothetical question) should gay parents be allowed to force it on their children?

Stepping back from those specific questions — do parents have the right to dictate the genetic makeup of their children?


28 posted on 08/27/2009 6:07:25 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: CharlesWayneCT
Stepping back from those specific questions — do parents have the right to dictate the genetic makeup of their children?

Just like any other form of evil, once the gate is opened ever so slightly it becomes nearly impossible to close.

29 posted on 08/27/2009 6:09:48 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

Couldn’t the kid inherit bad genes x3?


30 posted on 08/27/2009 6:12:02 PM PDT by MayflowerMadam
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To: wagglebee

I am sympathetic to the slippery slope argument. I also understand that medical science can cure disease, and while I certainly would draw the line at destroying one embryo to help another, I’m not sure I would oppose any genetic manipulation, simply because allowing some genetic manipulation could open the door to other manipulation.

However, because we have fallen so far, and because there is no real respect for life, I would tend to oppose even life-saving genetic manipulation, because at this time in our history, humanity simply cannot be trusted to act ethically.


31 posted on 08/27/2009 6:22:16 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: higgmeister

More or less. DNA and RNA are two different things. Let’s stick to DNA for this discussion. DNA is the fundamental genetic coding material. Nearly all of our DNA is located in the nucleus of our cells, and is derived more or less evenly from each of our genetic parents. Any trait that can be seen or shown to be heritable from either parent is coded in nuclear DNA (plus male gender, which is heritable only through a Y chromosome from the father).

Mitochondria are little energy-producing organelles (like organs within a cell) that exist solely to produce energy (in the form of the molecule ATP, which is to cells what gasoline is to cars). That’s all they do, and ATP is a pretty simple molecule that’s identical in everyone (and also in cats, dogs, etc). There isn’t room in mature sperm cells for mitochondria, so they don’t have any. Eggs cells are huge compared to to sperm cells, so that where new organisms get all their mitochondria from. Mitochondrial DNA enables the reproduction/replacement of mitochondria, so if your mitochondrial DNA is defective, you get defective mitochondria which are unable to produce ATP in normal amounts or at normal rates. Your cells are screwed. All of them.

How screwed depends on the extent of the defect, but the nature of the problem is such that some affected babies already have life-threatening health problems at birth, while some appear perfectly healthy at first and start to show signs of problems later on. In virtually all cases, it’s steadily degenerative. In some cases, the problem is mild enough that clear symptoms don’t appear until adulthood (though usually there have been various health problems since childhood, with the underlying cause misdiagnosed). This is why some women reach adulthood healthy enough to have babies and pass on their defective mitochondria. There seems to be a wide variation in the degree of defect passed on, ranging from similar to the mother’s, to already life-threatening at birth. But importantly, the fact that a mother is only mildly affected does not necessarily translate into her children being only mildly affected.

I just Googled up an interesting webpage from an affected family with EIGHT children, and the general trend seems to be that the later children were more severely affected, presumably because the mother’s disease was progressing, so the babies were being gestated in the body of a progressively sicker mother. http://www.kathleensworld.com/mitochon.html The saddest description is of 9 year old Danny — he has seriously impaired mental function, and though he is still physically able to walk, the exertion accelerates the permanent damage to his muscle tissue, so he is required to use his power wheelchair nearly all the time, even though he naturally wants to walk around with the other kids at home and school (and obviously doesn’t have the mental capacity to understand why he isn’t allowed to).


32 posted on 08/27/2009 6:24:48 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker (Vote for a short Freepathon! Donate now if you possibly can!)
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To: CharlesWayneCT

This technique has no possibility of being used to manufacture children with specific traits, other than being free of mitochondrial disease. All specific traits are coded on nuclear DNA and heritable from either parent (except male gender, which requires the Y chromosome from the father). Mitochondrial DNA is an entirely different thing.


33 posted on 08/27/2009 6:25:24 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker (Vote for a short Freepathon! Donate now if you possibly can!)
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To: wagglebee

Yes, and these pin-heads thought they were so clever at genetically engineering corn several years ago, until several hundred pets and puppies died from eating it!

If they can’t get something as genetically simple (by comparison)as corn, how in the world would they get a human being right? What if they “accidentally” left out a marker, or inserted an extra? Oh, but that’s right—they’re not human anyway, they can be aborted! /s


34 posted on 08/27/2009 6:25:40 PM PDT by GWMcClintock ("When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Ps. 11:3)
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To: wagglebee
Is it possible that Joseph Mengele is still alive?

5.56mm

35 posted on 08/27/2009 6:26:46 PM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: wagglebee
Just like any other form of evil, once the gate is opened ever so slightly it becomes nearly impossible to close.

There were people who applied this concept to the advent of antibiotics too. If you were dying of an infection in the natural course of things, then obviously that's what God wanted, and nobody should interfere with artificial, human-created things like anitbiotics. Some religious fanatics still apply this concept to ALL medical care -- like the nuts who recently let their young daughter die of diabetes, refusing to do anything but pray over her and spoon a little broth into her mouth as she lay dying for days. Yep, they stayed off the slippery slope of taking action in life-or-death matters, so the girl is dead, and the smug parents are proud of themselves for standing by and not interfering while (in their sick minds) God chose to kill her.

36 posted on 08/27/2009 6:36:34 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker (Vote for a short Freepathon! Donate now if you possibly can!)
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To: GovernmentShrinker

So, you think that we can’t figure out the rest? Or do you think that, if this manipulation becomes accepted and commonplace, we can still prohibit other manipulations, simply because they aren’t the same type of manipulation?

Do you give no weight to the “slippery slope” argument, or do you simply not mind if we go down that slope?


37 posted on 08/27/2009 6:39:59 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: GWMcClintock
Yes, and these pin-heads thought they were so clever at genetically engineering corn several years ago, until several hundred pets and puppies died from eating it! If they can’t get something as genetically simple (by comparison)as corn

Source, please? I've never heard of any such deaths. A couple of studies showed a pretty solid link between a certain type of genetically engineered corn and the deaths of monarch butterfyl larvae, and another study or two found mild impairment to the fertility of mice from a type of genetically engineered corn (fed to them in huge quantities), but I've never heard of any deaths of pets being traced to genetically engineered corn, nor can I find any references to this in a Google search.

38 posted on 08/27/2009 6:47:29 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker (Vote for a short Freepathon! Donate now if you possibly can!)
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To: GovernmentShrinker

Don’t answer my question—however, it was not rhetorical


39 posted on 08/27/2009 7:12:22 PM PDT by bushwon ("If you think healthcare is expensive now, just wait till it is free! "~ PJ O'Rourke)
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To: CharlesWayneCT

We do manipulations all the time. Choose an attractive healthy partner over an ugly or sickly one, and you’ve just done genetic manipulation. Choose a partner who’s tall like you, instead of short like you aren’t, and you’ve just done genetic manipulation. And in some Orthodox Jewish communities, where the rabbis are doing genetic testing for Tay-Sachs and then not approving any “matches” between men and women who are both carriers, they’re doing genetic manipulation (and interestingly, they do it without telling the individuals the results of their own tests).

I don’t think we should be prohibiting any kind of genetic manipulation which is done under the direction of free citizens at their won expense, because it’s inconsistent with freedom. While I personally think it’s irresponsible for people for who are carriers of severe genetic diseases to reproduce without availing themselves of reliable techniques to avoid passing on the disease, I don’t want the government involved in the decision (nor do I want the government or taxpayers socked with the bill for the results). I don’t think government has any business requiring people to use such techniques, nor prohibiting them from using such techniques. Stupid stuff like choosing eye color or trying to breed a football star will never catch on widely and will be a passing fad among fools who are easily parted from their money (and will result in amusing new brands of youthful rebellion). Serious stuff like preventing the births of babies with severely disabling genetic defects, or deliberately choosing to have babies that carry less severe defects that their parents have (as one deaf lesbian couple in the UK did) is too important a matter to have government meddling in.

Most people, left to make their own free choices will steer clear of the extremes. And as for the few who won’t, the results can’t be any worse than the results of nature’s own errors, which include babies born with no brains, babies born with most of their organs outside their bodies and improperly developed, babies born with with horrible disorders that result in short lives filled with nothing but pain an suffering, babies born with two bodies fused together but only one heart which can’t support the whole fused system, etc.


40 posted on 08/27/2009 7:14:33 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker (Vote for a short Freepathon! Donate now if you possibly can!)
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To: GovernmentShrinker

Yep, it would certainly be more difficult than just having a mitochondrial donor, but either way - I think the “three parent” thing is overstated.


41 posted on 08/27/2009 7:16:48 PM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be redistributed?)
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To: allmendream

Definitely WAY overstated.


42 posted on 08/27/2009 7:22:16 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker (Vote for a short Freepathon! Donate now if you possibly can!)
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To: GovernmentShrinker

>> Do you even know what mitochondrial DNA is? Or what mitochondria are, for that matter?

As a matter of fact, I do.

I guess you had some point to make with your comment, but darned if I can tell what it is.


43 posted on 08/27/2009 8:09:31 PM PDT by Nervous Tick (Stop dissing drunken sailors! At least they spend their OWN money.)
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To: GovernmentShrinker
Thanks for the clarification. I remembered the basics from the investigation of the mitochondrial trail among women back to the common “Earth Mother Eve” ancestor. Some recognition is also due my wonderful High School biology teacher Mrs. Connie Fletcher, Waynesboro, Va.
44 posted on 08/27/2009 8:22:47 PM PDT by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: GovernmentShrinker
Most people, left to make their own free choices will steer clear of the extremes.

I was with you up until this statement. I refer you to the movie "Idiocracy."

Additionally you should consider that because of cosmetic improvements and enhancements to adults, children are becoming uglier each year upon year.

The potential parents can't see what disgusting genetic traits are hidden by a Surgeon's skill.

45 posted on 08/27/2009 8:34:24 PM PDT by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: GWMcClintock

Yes, and these pin-heads thought they were so clever at genetically engineering corn several years ago, until several hundred pets and puppies died from eating it!


I was unaware that it killed hunderds of pets and puppies. Do you have links to this?


46 posted on 08/27/2009 9:10:40 PM PDT by bushwon ("If you think healthcare is expensive now, just wait till it is free! "~ PJ O'Rourke)
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To: Nervous Tick

Do you even know what mitochondrial DNA is? Or what mitochondria are, for that matter?

As a matter of fact, I do.

I guess you had some point to make with your comment, but darned if I can tell what it is.


Most hs & college bio covers this.

Could ask dr. bushwon for further info as he has studied extensively, I’m guessing would be nervous over ramifications of some of this


47 posted on 08/27/2009 9:16:45 PM PDT by bushwon ("If you think healthcare is expensive now, just wait till it is free! "~ PJ O'Rourke)
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To: ViLaLuz

My FRiend, GOD gave us free will - we as a society have chose to do disturbing things with that free will, and on His timetable will he alter our behavior. I sorrow for the uncaring and unknowing of us who do not understand His will.


48 posted on 08/27/2009 11:33:45 PM PDT by Spacetrucker (I know who John Galt is...)
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To: bushwon; GovernmentShrinker

I have no links, but the local news in Columbus Ohio reported that the dog food company,Diamond had to pull thousands of bags of dog food off the market, because the genetically engineered corn they had used to produce the dog food was shown to be the cause of hundreds of deaths across the US. Specifically in this area, they interviewed a Lab breeder who had lost an entire litter of puppies to the problem, before anyone figured out what was going on. (IIRC the timing was late 2005, early 2006-before the rat poison in the rice incident.)

I was feeding Diamond to my two Great Danes at the time, and believe me, they were on another food the next day!

This little “problem” almost destroyed that company, and I know of at least two breeders who will NEVER touch the brand again.


49 posted on 08/28/2009 5:07:25 AM PDT by GWMcClintock ("When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Ps. 11:3)
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To: GovernmentShrinker

What does that have to do with my comment?


50 posted on 08/28/2009 7:53:07 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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