1. Joined
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    24 Feb '15 21:12
    Deciding vote on three-person babies

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-31594856

    I thought of putting this in debates but I think it may be more interesting in here.

    There is clearly a scientific benefit but what of the moral and spiritual implications?
  2. Joined
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    24 Feb '15 21:19
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Deciding vote on three-person babies

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-31594856

    I thought of putting this in debates but I think it may be more interesting in here.

    There is clearly a scientific benefit but what of the moral and spiritual implications?
    I already posted this in the debates forum- Britain leads the world. But the response will almost certainly interesting here!
  3. SubscriberSuzianne
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    24 Feb '15 22:37
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Deciding vote on three-person babies

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-31594856

    I thought of putting this in debates but I think it may be more interesting in here.

    There is clearly a scientific benefit but what of the moral and spiritual implications?
    I think the theistic implications are somewhat less than you'd think at first.

    Mitochondrial DNA, while it IS DNA, or genetic material, it does not pass on traits or characteristics. So in effect, the second woman is only contributing the non-nucleus part of the egg cell. So while she IS making a significant contribution to the health of the child-to-be, she isn't really contributing anything that determines who that child becomes.

    So my take-away is that the "moral and spiritual implications" are minimal, at best.
  4. Standard memberDeepThought
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    24 Feb '15 22:46
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    I think the theistic implications are somewhat less than you'd think at first.

    Mitochondrial DNA, while it IS DNA, or genetic material, it does not pass on traits or characteristics. So in effect, the second woman is only contributing the non-nucleus part of the egg cell. So while she IS making a significant contribution to the health of the child-to-b ...[text shortened]... becomes.

    So my take-away is that the "moral and spiritual implications" are minimal, at best.
    Mitochrondrial DNA affects the energy use of the cell, it passes on traits in much the same way as the nuclear DNA does. If it were irrelevant then there would be no need for the process. Although I agree with your conclusion, I don't think there are any issues that do not already exist with test-tube babies made with donated sperm. This is hardly creating life from scratch, which might have moral implications at least for theists.
  5. SubscriberSuzianne
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    24 Feb '15 23:05
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    Mitochrondrial DNA affects the energy use of the cell, it passes on traits in much the same way as the nuclear DNA does. If it were irrelevant then there would be no need for the process. Although I agree with your conclusion, I don't think there are any issues that do not already exist with test-tube babies made with donated sperm. This is hardly creating life from scratch, which might have moral implications at least for theists.
    I'll stand by my contention that mitochondrial DNA does not pass on traits or characteristics. Yes, of course it affects the energy use of the cell and therefore the main effects of the mtDNA is in the resulting health of the individual. Some diseases could be passed on and/or affected by the presence of some sections of the mtDNA, but no traits or characteristics, such as eye color, or "handedness", not to mention race, gender, or even height or weight tendencies, could be passed on by mtDNA. This is why I say the implications are minimal. The mtDNA might affect lifespan, or even quality of life due to presence or absence of disease, but who that child is is determined by the recombination of the 23 maternal chromosomes and the 23 paternal chromosomes in the nucleus alone.
  6. Standard memberDeepThought
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    25 Feb '15 01:29
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    I'll stand by my contention that mitochondrial DNA does not pass on traits or characteristics. Yes, of course it affects the energy use of the cell and therefore the main effects of the mtDNA is in the resulting health of the individual. Some diseases could be passed on and/or affected by the presence of some sections of the mtDNA, but no traits or charac ...[text shortened]... combination of the 23 maternal chromosomes and the 23 paternal chromosomes in the nucleus alone.
    I'd need to know more about biology to argue this well. From the point of view of biology the energy use of a cell is a trait. It would affect energy use which would make someone tire faster or slower, potentially impacting on their life and altering their personality. Bear in mind that traits such as the exact shape of finger prints are not set genetically, it's random. My life experiences have changed who I am, for better or worse, and so my personality simply is not set by my nuclear DNA. I'm trying to establish that not all traits are inherited via nuclear DNA. The extent to which my mitochondria can efficiently convert sugars into ATP affects how energetic I can be, which intuitively would have an impact on my personality. A child who likes sports is going to grow up to be a different person to one that doesn't like sports and mtDNA could affect that.
  7. Cape Town
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    25 Feb '15 06:301 edit
    Originally posted by divegeester
    There is clearly a scientific benefit but what of the moral and spiritual implications?
    I think the real question is why it came up before the House of Lords or required a law in the first place. Does the House of Lords approve other medical procedures too? Did the first organ transplant also come before them?
  8. Cape Town
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    25 Feb '15 06:39
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    I'll stand by my contention that mitochondrial DNA does not pass on traits or characteristics.
    You are mistaken. Some traits or characteristics can be passed on through mitochondrial DNA.
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    25 Feb '15 07:01
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I think the real question is why it came up before the House of Lords or required a law in the first place.
    That certainly is another question, not sure if it's the "real" question.
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    25 Feb '15 13:51
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Deciding vote on three-person babies

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-31594856

    I thought of putting this in debates but I think it may be more interesting in here.

    There is clearly a scientific benefit but what of the moral and spiritual implications?
    "is someone getting hurt?"

    that's the only thing to answer about moral implications.
  11. Standard memberDeepThought
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    25 Feb '15 16:23
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I think the real question is why it came up before the House of Lords or required a law in the first place. Does the House of Lords approve other medical procedures too? Did the first organ transplant also come before them?
    Amazingly enough medical procedures require regulation. It is right that this was subjected to democratic scrutiny, in so far as the House of Lords can be described as democratic.
  12. Cape Town
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    25 Feb '15 20:58
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    Amazingly enough medical procedures require regulation.
    Yes, and usually by bodies qualified to do so.

    It is right that this was subjected to democratic scrutiny,
    Why? The vast majority of medical procedures are not subjected to democratic scrutiny. Medicine in general isn't a democratically created policy framework, nor a political or economic issue. Deciding who should pay for medicine, yes, I can see that going to the House of Lords, but deciding whether or not aspirin is the best treatment for headaches? No.
    Should the conservative party try campaigning based on their support for kidney transplants?
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    25 Feb '15 22:28
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Yes, and usually by bodies qualified to do so.

    [b]It is right that this was subjected to democratic scrutiny,

    Why? The vast majority of medical procedures are not subjected to democratic scrutiny. Medicine in general isn't a democratically created policy framework, nor a political or economic issue. Deciding who should pay for medicine, yes, I ca ...[text shortened]... o.
    Should the conservative party try campaigning based on their support for kidney transplants?[/b]
    Problem is , that in the end it always comes down to economics, and how public money is spent always comes down to politics. I think I am right in assuming that a Government body ( I forget the name) decides on what medicines and procedures are to used on a cost/benefit bases.
  14. SubscriberSuzianne
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    25 Feb '15 23:04
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    You are mistaken. Some traits or characteristics can be passed on through mitochondrial DNA.
    Give me one 'for instance'.
  15. SubscriberSuzianne
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    25 Feb '15 23:05
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    "is someone getting hurt?"

    that's the only thing to answer about moral implications.
    Wow, that's incredibly short-sighted.
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