I was reading through my blog feed, trying to get caught up, when I happened upon this article regarding genetic modification of embryos. In a nutshell, the article takes a look at the morality (or immorality) of taking the nuclear DNA from an embryo and implanting it within a denucleated egg cell from a donor which contains healthy mitochondrial DNA as a “therapy” for patients with mitochondrial disease.
Is “therapy” the right word?
The article suggests that maybe not. The way they argue it, you aren’t “treating” a condition of the patient, but you are modifying the genetic make-up of the person from the beginning — taking some genes from the father, some from the mother and other genes (the mitochondrial ones) from a second woman (the donor egg). Then, you slap together all the pieces parts to Frankenbaby yourself a genetically “improved” embryo.
By the way, I just made up that word.
Frankenbaby = to genetically modify an embryo
Given that my condition is progressive and terminal and relatively uncommon, I’m kind of happy that the medical community is bothering to think up ways to help me out. However, (1) it’s a little too late at this point and (2) it’s not moral.
Keep trying, though…