In the latest episode of BioTalk, Rebecca Taylor and Chelsea Zimmerman give an update on “three-parent IVF” (aka “midochondrial donation or replacement”) and genetic engineering, what it means for our human future and what you can do about it.
Or, if you prefer, you can listen to audio only:
There is a very real possibility that the United States may follow the UK’s lead here. The FDA is once again revisiting their policy on three-parent IVF here in the States, and have asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to conduct a consensus committee to evaluate the technology.
As part of their evaluation, the IOM Consensus Committee is holding open meetings for public comment on March 31, April 1 and May 19. If you are in the DC area, please consider attending and making your voice heard!
If you are unable to attend, you can submit feedback to the committee here by clicking on “Provide FEEDBACK on this project” or you can email MitoEthics@nas.edu. That’s what we plan on doing; I hope you will join us (Rebecca has posted a sample letter that you can use).
• Couples are flocking to Thailand, the last place in Asia where sex-selective IVF is available.
• The Medical Board of Australia has suspended the medical registration of Dr Philip Nitschke, aka: Australia’s “Dr. Death”, following allegations that he counseled a man who was not terminally ill to take his own life. The board found that he posed “a serious risk” to the health and safety of the public.
• Researchers have discovered that instead of simply being an extra copy of each of the genes on chromosome 21, trisomy 21 has an effect on the expression of genes on other chromosomes. Rebecca Taylor observes how this new discovery has implications for the future of human genetic engineering.
• Judie Brown explains why personhood described as being “from the moment of conception” no longer applies to every human being thanks to modern reproductive technology.
• A new app-controlled device for people with hearing loss also improves normal hearing and conjures “images of a bionic future”.
After 35 years, IVF is still a vast experiment. An experiment on children, millions of whom pay for it with their lives. Even those who are lucky enough to have survived the process are paying for it in other ways: By having agreater risk of developing birth defects or spending their lives desperate to know where they came from, who they look like, whether they have any biological siblings and sometimes even why they’ve developed some genetic disease because they’ve had half of their identity deliberately withheld from them.
In the latest episode of BioTalk in which Rebecca Taylor and Chelsea Zimmerman discuss the ironic legacy of IVF: that couples are so desperate for a child to love and yet concern what’s good and right for the child himself is actually put last.