Thursday, August 27, 2009
In an effort to prevent the inheritance of incurable genetic diseases, scientists have produced four baby primates each containing DNA from three parents. The technique is designed to allow mothers with genetic diseases to bear healthy offspring. Healthy DNA is taken from the sick mother's fertilized egg cell and transferred into a disease-free donor female's egg. Thus, two mothers.
The procedure could eradicate forms of epilepsy, heart disease, and blindness caused by mutations in the mitochondrial DNA passed from mother to offspring.
However, the research has already ignited a controversy.
Spindler, the macaque above, has three siblings: Mito, Tracker, and Spindy.