Stanford University’s, Professor Hank T. Greely , predicts in his book The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction , that in the next 20 to 30 years human procreation will be achieved in a lab. He examines new techniques that will enable prospective parents to select an embryo of their choice based on the knowledge provided from their DNA. The trend snacks below unpack new modified techniques that will make procreation in labs easy and cheap. As well as highlighting the political and economic legal functions that will make this possible. Researchers are already breaking ground in this area. Continue reading to find out how…
1. Three Parent Technique
The three-parent technique is a mitochondrial DNA transfer . The mitochondrial DNA is a structure of cells inherited from mothers, which converts foods into energy for cells. This technique allows for a third parent to submit their DNA to use in place of a faulty gene that may cause birthing issues or miscarriage. In 2016 a Jordanian coupled birthed a baby boy who became the first child to have more than two genetic parents. Since then countries such as UK , China and Ukraine have researchers and scientist working on similar techniques.
2. CRISPR – Cas 9
CRISPR is a gene editing tool, which in conjunction with Cas-9 (a scissor-like protein) allows for the removal, editing and repair of genes. Chinese researchers reported that they had successfully used gene editing technique to edit a human embryo preventing the inheritance of diseases that cause blood disorders. This kind of genetic modification technique is still in the test phase, however scientist and eGenesis cofounder, Luhan Yang is optimistic about the possibilities this technique presents for humans.
Above: Genome editing with CRISPR Cas 9
3. Vitro Gametogenesis (IVG)
IVG is a progression from In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) . The success of IVG will see scientists convert these human cells such as skin cells into artificial gametes. Gametes are lab generated eggs and sperm that can be fertilized outside of the human body and thereafter implanted into the womb. This innovative fertility procedure will enable same sex couples to have children that will be biologically related to both of them.
The concept of uniparent may become a reality with the success of IVG. It will also mean that some children may have one biological parent. In 2016 scientist in Japan reported the success of the first baby mice born from eggs made from the mothers skin.
By Khumo Theko
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