Video Script

For ‘Genetic advance raises health hopes’

BBC News 26th Aug 2009: 'Genetic advance raises health hopes' (2min19)



"This is Meeto and Tracker, two genetically modified monkeys and their creation in the United States, could lead to the elimination of hundreds of inherited diseases forever. Jean Gillards family could be one of those to benefit.

The research could help Jean Gillard family. She is one of thousands of women that have defective eggs which increases the risk of her children developing a wide range of illnesses."


“My mother probably had it and its come down the generations and what’s going to happen to the future generations? I've got five gorgeous grandchildren.”


“Women who have this condition pass it on to their daughters who in turn give it to theirs. But now there has been an important scientific development that could stop this disorder going from generation to generation.”

(Illustration of genetic egg transplantation)

“Scientists have shown in animal experiments they can treat the condition by carrying out a genetic egg transplant. The defective eggs contain damaged genes, here shown in red. By taking out the DNA needed to make a baby and transplanting it into an empty egg with healthy DNA, shown in green, doctors believe they can overcome the problem.”

"Writing in the journal Nature, scientists in the US have shown it can be done with monkeys. Doctors here believe it will soon be possible to help human patients who have the disorder mitochondrial disease."

Prof. Peter Braude:

"It has occurred against all the odds. I think it is going to create much hope for people who have mitochondrial disease and sometime in the future, their children will be free of these disorders."


"By making a permanent change to the DNA that continues through generations, scientists could eliminate all mitochondrial diseases from society, and by making the so called germ line genetic changes to eggs, they could completely eradicate many more inherited diseases."

Josephine Quintavale, Comment on Reproductive Ethics:

"I'm not in the business of looking for a perfect society and I certainly don't define human perfection by physical perfection. We have to be very careful."


"Researchers say this latest treatment could be available to families with mitochondrial disorders within the next few years."

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