Genetic Cloning/Reproduction--Developments

Kathryn Aegis (
Tue, 17 Nov 1998 20:31:02 -0800 (PST)

The second post regarding developments unveiled at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

On October 8, Jamie Grifo, John Zhang and Hui Liu of New York University announced that for the first time genes from an infertile woman's egg were transferred into another egg, the egg was fertilized with sperm and the egg was then implanted into the infertile woman's womb to maturate. If this results in a child, the child will have two genetic mothers, although one will have contributed more genetic material and will clearly constitute the dominant genetic mother.

The actual technique involves removing one egg each from the fertile and the infertile woman. The nuclei from both eggs are then removed. The nucleus from the healthy egg is transferred to the infertile egg. The reconstituted egg is then fertilized (with sperm, wouldn't you know.) The baby would carry nuclear genes from the infertile woman and mitochondrial genes from the donor woman.

This technique was developed after earlier experiments with reviving infertile eggs with younger, healthier cytoplasm from donor eggs.

This technique is considered similar to cloning, similar enough to be banned in California and any other state that decides to ban the same cloning procedure that produced Dolly.

Kathryn Aegis