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  1. Standard member vivify
    rain
    05 Jun '14 14:48
    will be possible to make babies with three biological parents.

    http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/three-parent-babies-possible-%E2%80%98-two-years%E2%80%99-according-uk-report
  2. Standard member RBHILL
    Acts 13:48
    08 Jun '14 21:10
    Originally posted by vivify
    will be possible to make babies with three biological parents.

    http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/three-parent-babies-possible-%E2%80%98-two-years%E2%80%99-according-uk-report
    69 chromosome that would be interesting.
  3. 09 Jun '14 07:24
    We can already produce children with any number of parents. One, two, three, four, any number. We can produce children from two mothers, two fathers, any combination.

    We already know how to clone. We already know how to manipulate genes. We already know how to mix genes from several people, even animals.

    But we don't do it of ethical reasons. But the knowledge is there. Experience, not yet.
  4. 09 Jun '14 17:30
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    But we don't do it of ethical reasons.
    The main ethical reason being we might get it wrong, and that risk outweighs any benefits. However the concept in the OP, has significant benefits, and lower risks, so it is likely it will be used.
  5. 10 Jun '14 08:37
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    The main ethical reason being we might get it wrong, and that risk outweighs any benefits. However the concept in the OP, has significant benefits, and lower risks, so it is likely it will be used.
    You're probably right. I don't understand the details of the link so I shouldn't comment that.

    But still - when you meddel with the genetics in a lab - doesn't parentship lose its significance a bit? I mean taking genes from here and chromosomes from there and the empty cell from there and put everything in a test tube and watch things grow...?
  6. 10 Jun '14 16:09
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    You're probably right. I don't understand the details of the link so I shouldn't comment that.

    But still - when you meddel with the genetics in a lab - doesn't parentship lose its significance a bit? I mean taking genes from here and chromosomes from there and the empty cell from there and put everything in a test tube and watch things grow...?
    The procedure in the op is basically just a procedure to replace the mitochondria
    [passed on by the mother] for people who have a mitochondrial genetic defect.

    No genes are meddled with, it's basically a strait swap out.

    However... since when was parenting simply the process of maximising the survival
    of your genes?

    Sure that's what evolution is all about, but unless you are an Arian supremacist why
    would you care what an unintelligent process wants?


    The significance in parenting is in passing on your values, of taking a being from infancy to
    adulthood. Nothing in there about making sure that your genetic code continues on unaltered.
  7. 11 Jun '14 06:49
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    The procedure in the op is basically just a procedure to replace the mitochondria
    [passed on by the mother] for people who have a mitochondrial genetic defect.

    No genes are meddled with, it's basically a strait swap out.

    However... since when was parenting simply the process of maximising the survival
    of your genes?

    Sure that's what evolutio ...[text shortened]... o
    adulthood. Nothing in there about making sure that your genetic code continues on unaltered.
    What you say now, that only mitocondria were moved from one cell to another, seems to me that it has nothing to do with parenthood. (I really should have read the article better.)

    Please correct me if I am wrong.
  8. 11 Jun '14 08:32
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    What you say now, that only mitocondria were moved from one cell to another, seems to me that it has nothing to do with parenthood. (I really should have read the article better.)

    Please correct me if I am wrong.
    Basically the procedure is a method of taking a fertilised egg [using the sperm and egg
    from the prospective parents] from parents with a mitochondrial condition and then taking
    the nucleus from that egg, and implanting it in a donor egg from someone without the
    mitochondrial condition.
    And then implanting that egg like a normal IVF procedure.

    This way people with an inheritable mitochondrial condition can have offspring that don't
    have the condition, and who's children wont have it either.

    The children will be genetic offspring of their parents, but with healthy mitochondria.
  9. 11 Jun '14 08:43
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    Basically the procedure is a method of taking a fertilised egg [using the sperm and egg
    from the prospective parents] from parents with a mitochondrial condition and then taking
    the nucleus from that egg, and implanting it in a donor egg from someone without the
    mitochondrial condition.
    And then implanting that egg like a normal IVF procedure.

    ...[text shortened]... ther.

    The children will be genetic offspring of their parents, but with healthy mitochondria.
    So basically, they remove bad mitochondria and introduce good mitochondria in a fertilised egg.

    Meaning that DNA comes from two parents only, not a third parent. Mitochondria doesn't introduce DNA from a third person. Right or wrong?

    I think the title of the article isn't written of someone who had understood the text.
  10. 11 Jun '14 10:10
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    So basically, they remove bad mitochondria and introduce good mitochondria in a fertilised egg.

    Meaning that DNA comes from two parents only, not a third parent. Mitochondria doesn't introduce DNA from a third person. Right or wrong?

    I think the title of the article isn't written of someone who had understood the text.
    The mitochondria have their own DNA.

    Basically modern eukaryote cells [which all complex non-bacterial life is built from]
    formed when a big bacteria swallowed a small bacteria, and the small bacteria
    started making energy for the big bacteria and started dividing with the big bacteria.

    I suspect this was the 'single common ancestor' moment. The evidence we have at the
    moment is suggesting that it's so easy for bacterial life to get started that it probable
    started multiple times in multiple places.

    But the creation of eukaryote cells happened just once, and all complex life stems from
    that one single life form.

    The advantage being that you need regulatory DNA to manage the power generation on
    the bacterial cell wall. DNA takes power to build and maintain. And so you have a red queen
    race where increasing DNA length [allowing for greater complexity] takes more energy,
    and to regulate the energy generation process takes up almost all the new DNA length.
    You get longer DNA that is basically made up of hundreds or thousands of copies of the
    energy regulation bits.
    In an eukaryote cell the mitochondria do all the energy generation, and if you need more
    energy you just have more of them. Freeing up the host cell to use the energy to have a long
    and complex DNA that allows for complex life.

    Modern mitochondria are incredibly efficient energy generators with their DNA almost exclusively
    devoted to energy generation regulation. They are however still lifeforms in their own right.
    Bound in a symbiotic relationship with their host cells.

    And what this procedure does is 'simply' replace faulty versions with healthy ones. With the
    new mitochondria, with their Mitochondrial DNA coming from the third party.
  11. 11 Jun '14 11:59
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    The mitochondria have their own DNA.

    Basically modern eukaryote cells [which all complex non-bacterial life is built from]
    formed when a big bacteria swallowed a small bacteria, and the small bacteria
    started making energy for the big bacteria and started dividing with the big bacteria.

    I suspect this was the 'single common ancestor' moment. Th ...[text shortened]... thy ones. With the
    new mitochondria, with their Mitochondrial DNA coming from the third party.
    Oh, this is so interesting. I thank you for sharing this with me.

    So the mitochondria live their own lives within the cells. Reproducing themselves when they need to as any other one cell organism. The host cell gives it shelter and the mitochondria pays with its energy (ATP).

    Fascinating!
  12. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    11 Jun '14 12:53
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    The mitochondria have their own DNA.

    Basically modern eukaryote cells [which all complex non-bacterial life is built from]
    formed when a big bacteria swallowed a small bacteria, and the small bacteria
    started making energy for the big bacteria and started dividing with the big bacteria.

    I suspect this was the 'single common ancestor' moment. Th ...[text shortened]... thy ones. With the
    new mitochondria, with their Mitochondrial DNA coming from the third party.
    I suspect this was the 'single common ancestor' moment.
    A note of caution on this statement. Eukaryotes are defined by having a cell nucleus, rather than the presence of any other particular organelles. According to the Wikipedia page on Eukaryotes nearly all of them have mitochondria, the protozoa that lack them are believed to have had them and then lost them, but this isn't proved. The endosymbiosis theory is the generally accepted one, but if it could happen once there is no particular reason to believe that it couldn't have happened multiple times. Modern mitochondria could have started out as a parasite living inside a host cell, which developed into a symbiosis - in opposition to a "failed predation" model. So there may not have been a single common ancestor.
  13. 11 Jun '14 13:12
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    I suspect this was the 'single common ancestor' moment.
    A note of caution on this statement. Eukaryotes are defined by having a cell nucleus, rather than the presence of any other particular organelles. According to the Wikipedia page on Eukaryotes nearly all of them have mitochondria, the protozoa that lack them are believed to ha ...[text shortened]... tion to a "failed predation" model. So there may not have been a single common ancestor.
    I agree that a not of caution in all this is in order, and I tried to imply that with my tone.
    [I evidently wasn't successful in that]

    I was also hugely simplifying and generalising what's actually going on.

    Biology is horribly and fantastically complicated and I am by no means an expert in it, so I
    will not attempt a more detailed description.

    It may not ever be possible to know for sure, however my understanding of the current research
    is that the reason it took so long to form complex life forms is because of the energy problem
    I described, and that the 'innovation' of having on-board power-plants [mitochondria] required
    an extraordinarily improbable chain of circumstances. Thus making the likelihood of multiple
    occurrences highly unlikely. It is of course possible that there is no single common ancestor,
    but with the horizontal gene transfer process that doesn't really mean a whole lot.
  14. 11 Jun '14 13:31
    It must also be noted that this 'swallowing' of one cell by another took place many times in the history of life.
  15. 11 Jun '14 19:50
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    It must also be noted that this 'swallowing' of one cell by another took place many times in the history of life.
    One cell engulfing another is indeed common.

    However the crucial bit is what happened next, ie the cell that was devoured not only
    wasn't killed by, and didn't kill the cell that devoured it. And the two cells started dividing
    together AND formed a symbiotic relationship.