Treatment For Designer Babies : A Slippery Slope

909 WordsJun 28, 20154 Pages
From Disease Treatment to Designer Babies: A Slippery Slope The story of Neil and Sharon Bernardi is undeniably heart wrenching. The English couple watched their first three children pass away just hours after their births. Their fourth child, Edward, lived – despite frequent, day long seizures and other central nervous system abnormalities – until the age of twenty one. In the meantime, Neil and Sharon attempted to have three more children, all of whom died from due complications before reaching age two. Years passed before the couple learned that their suffering originated from mitochondrial defects present in Sharon’s cells. Mitochondria, dubbed the ‘powerhouse of the cell’, are a type of organelle present in most human cells. Their primary function is to generate Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), the cell’s principal source of chemical energy. Unlike most other organelles, mitochondria store their own set of genetic material, distinct from the DNA situated in a cell’s nucleus. Although this ‘mitochondrial genome’ represents only 0.1% of a cell’s genetic information, it often plays a significant role in development. In the United Kingdom alone, 150 new born children per year suffer from life threatening, mitochondrial diseases. These diseases vary in severity from person to person, making them difficult to diagnose, and they inflict an array of ailments such as neurological problems, muscle weakness, visual or auditory impairments, heart, liver, and kidney disease,

More about Treatment For Designer Babies : A Slippery Slope

Open Document