The Mitochondrial Meaning Behind 'Three-Parent' Babies

Headlines, newscasts and even an On Point Radio hour have been fixated on a controversial hearing at the Food and Drug Administration this week exploring the possibility of so-called 'Three Parent Babies.' The New York Times called them "designer babies," and Slate said the Times was just trying to scare you.

But the reality of the F.D.A. hearings is more complicated than that, and were lucky enough to have a clear-eyed explainer of the procedure in the spotlight this week .

Dina Fine Maron of Scientific American laid it out for us in a quick and comprehensive take-down at the top of the hour.

"The idea is, if we support this kind of procedure — where you can swap out mutated D.N.A. for medical purposes — what's to keep us from in the future swapping for certain admirable traits, or traits we believe to be admirable like intelligence, athleticism or eye color?" Maron told us.

What do you think? Is this paving the way for "designer babies"? Or is this a needed procedure for mitochondrially-challenged mothers and families?

Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook, Tumblr and @OnPointRadio.


More from On Point

Listen Live