The use of recombinant DNA technology to alter an organism’s DNA to achieve desired properties is called genetic engineering.
The addition of foreign DNA in the form of recombinant DNA vectors generated by molecular clones is the most common method of genetic engineering.
An organism that receives recombinant DNA is called a genetically modified organism (GMO).
When foreign DNA of another species is introduced, the host organism is called transgenic.
What kind of genetic modification exists?
In the United States, currently, it is illegal to genetically modify a human embryo to implant it in a woman.
While research is allowed for scientists if they destroy the experiments and do not receive federal funding, genetic modification for the intended parents is not possible.
The fact that the intended parent is not able to genetically modify their embryos does not mean that they are limited to adverse possibilities.
In fact, it is now common for embryos produced in vitro to undergo preimplantation genetic screening.
These screening tests focus on chromosomal abnormalities and certain genetic diseases, which mean that the parents’ intentions can prevent the transfer of an unwanted embryo – one with a genetic disorder or other mutation that prevents it from being passed on overtime.
The use of genetic engineering is debatable.
Application of genetic engineering is debatable
Three-parent IVF is an assisted reproduction technology in which the genetic material of one man and two women is used to produce human children.
Mitochondrial manipulation technologies are specifically used in in vitro fertilization of three individuals.
The three-parent IVF process aims to replace or reduce the effects of mitochondrial DNA mutations in order to overcome infertility or prevent potentially debilitating mitochondrial disease in their offspring.
A small amount of cytoplasm of donated egg cells collected from healthy females is injected into the mother’s egg.
This process is called plasma transfer.
After post-plasma transmission, the genetically modified mother’s egg is fertilized with the father’s sperm and then produces an embryo that is implanted in the mother’s womb using the IVF process.
The risk of transmitting an inherited disease is significant in open plasma transmission.
Therefore, the use of this process in the treatment of infertility or mitochondrial diseases has decreased.
In addition to open plasma transmission, the two most important additional processes are maternal spider transmission and pronuclear transmission.
One of the concerns that scientists have about the genetic modification of human embryos is that they are potentially looking for “baby designs” – embryos that are not only adapted to risks, and mutations, but also to characteristics such as eye color, height, and so on.
However, the National Academy of Sciences (a leading research organization) makes it clear that genetic modification should not be used for developmental purposes.
In addition, researchers have not yet identified any genes for these types of traits, making their modification impossible.
Every researcher who has attempted genetic modification has focused on more critical traits, such as the genes that cause disease, and is well aware of the ethical traits of focusing on more superficial traits.
“Children of three parents” already exist and studies show that they have not left any psychological harm.
Children receive only 0.1% of their genes from donors to three parents.
Babies are already being born to surrogate mothers with implanted genetically unrelated embryos – a procedure called gestational or IVF surrogacy and have existed since the 1980s.
You may think we need to identify the old method and the proposed new, baby surrogate mother who is pregnant and will not receive any genetic inheritance from her.
But it cannot be far from the truth. About ninety percent of the cells in the human body are not our own cells, but the microbial flora where we live in symbiosis.
It is important for our safety and health and affects all types of our individual behavior.
The science of understanding these plants is in its infancy, but specific genetic variants of intestinal bacteria have been shown to inherit, for example, children from their pregnant mothers, and there are identifiable genetic traits in plant differences between different ethnic groups (example, the Japanese have algae-digesting plants in their gut, which Americans don’t).
Knowing the close similarity in body shape and function between mitochondria and bacteria, we must also recognize that there are many reasons to call a gestational surrogate child a “three-parent” as there is to call a PNI child the same thing.
These children have more than two sources for their genetic inheritance – this is the primary difference.
Read related: Genetic modification and fertility tourism
Ravi Sharma is a self-motivated, successful entrepreneur and has a solid experience in the fertility segment. and he is the director at ARTbaby Global (ARThealthcare). He is a pharmacy graduate with post-graduation in business administration and has 14 years of rich experience in the field of infertility segment. He loves to write about IVF, Surrogacy, and other ART (assisted reproductive technology) news, issues, and updates. He is a Pharmacy graduate (B. Pharm) and M.B.A (marketing).
His most recent success includes the successful launch of the medical tourism company, ARTbaby, which offers treatment options for infertility, egg donation, and surrogacy. He likes spending time with his family and writing about various aspects of IVF surrogacy and donating eggs.