Designer Babies? F&D Administration Weighs in On New Fertility Procedure

black_baby_with_blue_eyes2010-med-wide*Are we ready for “designer babies?”

Yeah, frightening, I know.

But the Food and Drug Administration  in Aithersburg, Md. is weighing a fertility procedure that involves a combination of genetic material from three different people, in order to produce a baby free of certain defects.

Defects in general, as none in particular have been revealed.

Critics say this is an ethical minefield and could lead to the creation of designer babies.

A panel of experts have been asked to summarize current science to determine whether the approach — which was performed successfully in monkeys by researchers in Oregon and in humans more than a decade ago — is safe enough to be used again in people.

The F.D.A. meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday will address the scientific issues around the procedure, not the ethics. Regulators are asking scientists to discuss the risks to the mother and the potential child and how future studies should be structured, among other issues. The meeting is being closely watched.

The science of such therapies has advanced significantly in recent years, and many scientists are urging federal regulators to ease requirements for study in humans.

Read more on this at The New York Times.

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