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Monkeys Born Of Three Parents Usher In The Age Of The Super-Baby

Illustration for article titled Monkeys Born Of Three Parents Usher In The Age Of The Super-Baby

Four baby monkeys each have three parents — proving that you could have more than two, but also that that mitochondrial swapping can breed out genetic diseases once and for all. But why stop at three parents?


The Daily Mail has the report on why three parents are better than one. Four monkeys have been wiped clean of any mitochondrial genetic diseases, by swapping out the nuclear DNA from the mother's egg with that of another egg donor. See the graph:

Illustration for article titled Monkeys Born Of Three Parents Usher In The Age Of The Super-Baby

Fascinating stuff, but we say why just three? Why not go a third step and gestate the swapped egg in a surrogate, whose body chemistry affects how the genes are expressed in a variety of ways? That way, you increase your chances of having a genetically superior offspring.

I'm for any kind of Nuclear DNA sucking where the child retains the physical characteristics of the original parent, but ditches genetic diseases. Mainly because one, I know I'll be long dead before any serious GATTACA shit will hit the fan, two the more superior my offspring are the better chance I have to live off the money from their future achievements as an athlete or super brain, and three I'd love to see diseases that are possibly stemmed from mitochondrial malfunction gone forever, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and osteoporosis.

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Anekanta - spoon denier

Seriously though, there's some problems with this. Many debilitating diseases have a large environmental component as well, even if genetics makes certain people more prone to developing them.

Also, I think we're going to find that genetics is one of those things—you turn on one gene here, and it affects another gene there... in other words, there is probably no way to make a perfect human being. And even if you could, being perfect isn't always desirable.

Maybe you can make a super-smart kid, but maybe that kid is physically frail; or maybe that kid is physically and mentally perfect in every way but other people hate him (or her) out of jealousy, or the kid can't relate to people socially.

And that's not even getting into the ethics of whether or not perfect children should be an option for those who can afford them, but not for those who can't.