- As of 2001, 30 children genetically modified children had been born, courtesy of a process in which genes from a female donor are inserted into a woman’s eggs before being fertilized. Two children that were later tested were found to have DNA from three parents—two women and one man
- No one really knows what the ramifications of having DNA from three parents might be for the individual, or for their subsequent offspring
- Many follow-up reports continue to tout the high success of this method of treating infertility. But some do warn about the dangers and risks of this procedure. Researchers have found a link between chromosomal anomalies and oocytes manipulation, and one of the babies was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a spectrum of autism-related diagnoses, at the age of 18 months
By Dr. Mercola
When I first read that genetically modified humans have already been born, I could hardly believe it. However, further research into this story featured in the UK’s Daily Mail1 proved it to be true. They’ve really done it… they’ve created humans that nature could never allow for, and it’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen next.
Even more shocking was the discovery that this is actually old news!
The Daily Mail article was not dated, and upon investigation, the experiments cited actually took place over a decade ago; the study announcing their successful birth was published in 20012.
While I typically comment on recent findings and health related news, in this case I will make an exception, because I think many of you may be as surprised by this information as I was. I do not propose to have any answers here as this is out of my scope of expertise.
At best, I hope I can stir you to ponder the implications of this type of genetic engineering, and I invite you to share your perspective in the vital votes’ comment section below. As reported in the featured article:
“The disclosure that 30 healthy babies were born after a series of experiments in the United States provoked another furious debate about ethics… Fifteen of the children were born… as a result of one experimental program at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of St Barnabas in New Jersey.
The babies were born to women who had problems conceiving. Extra genes from a female donor were inserted into their eggs before they were fertilized in an attempt to enable them to conceive.
Genetic fingerprint tests on two one-year- old children confirm that they have inherited DNA from three adults—two women and one man.”
Human Germline Now Altered… What Happens Next?
Today, these children are in their early teens, and while the original study claims that this was “the first case of human germline genetic modification resulting in normal healthy children,” later reports put such claims of absolute success in dispute. Still, back in 2001, the authors seemed to think they had it all under control, stating:
“These are the first reported cases of germline mtDNA genetic modification which have led to the inheritance of two mtDNA populations in the children resulting from ooplasmic transplantation. These mtDNA fingerprints demonstrate that the transferred mitochondria can be replicated and maintained in the offspring, therefore being a genetic modification without potentially altering mitochondrial function.”