World’s first GM babies born

The world’s first geneticallymodified humans have been created, it was  revealed last night.

The disclosure that 30 healthy babies were born after a series of experiments  in the United States provoked another furious debate about ethics.

So far, two of the babies have been tested and have been found to contain  genes from three ‘parents’.

Fifteen of the children were born in the past three years as a result of one  experimental programme at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of  St Barnabas in New Jersey.

The babies were born to women who had problems conceiving. Extra genes from a  female donor were inserted into their eggs before they were fertilised in an  attempt to enable them to conceive.

Genetic fingerprint tests on two one-year- old children confirm that they  have inherited DNA from three adults –two women and one man.

The fact that the children have inherited the extra genes and incorporated  them into their ‘germline’ means that they will, in turn, be able to pass them  on to their own offspring.

Altering the human germline – in effect tinkering with the very make-up of  our species – is a technique shunned by the vast majority of the world’s  scientists.

Geneticists fear that one day this method could be used to create new races  of humans with extra, desired characteristics such as strength or high  intelligence.

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