“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” ― Carl Sagan Current Biology

31st March 2014

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Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Disease at Newcastle University have developed a technique that lets mothers with  genetic mitochondrial issues bear healthy children. Sometimes called “three-parent embryos”, the method replaces the faulty mitochondria in the mother’s egg with healthy mitochondria from a donor egg, to combine with the father’s sperm. Mitochondrial DNA consists of just 37 genes, which perform a quite separate function from the 23,000 genes that determine our characteristics: the baby’s nature will be drawn from its parents, the donor providing only battery support.
Some good articles about the procedure and the potential ethical issues:
This treatment would save children’s lives – so why won’t the government allow it?
FDA Considers Mitochondrial DNA Replacement
His Fertility Advance Draws Ire
Diagram from the HFEA

Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Disease at Newcastle University have developed a technique that lets mothers with  genetic mitochondrial issues bear healthy children. Sometimes called “three-parent embryos”, the method replaces the faulty mitochondria in the mother’s egg with healthy mitochondria from a donor egg, to combine with the father’s sperm. Mitochondrial DNA consists of just 37 genes, which perform a quite separate function from the 23,000 genes that determine our characteristics: the baby’s nature will be drawn from its parents, the donor providing only battery support.

Some good articles about the procedure and the potential ethical issues:

This treatment would save children’s lives – so why won’t the government allow it?

FDA Considers Mitochondrial DNA Replacement

His Fertility Advance Draws Ire

Diagram from the HFEA

Tagged: Mitochondrial replacementMitochondrial diseaseMitochondriaBiologyEthicsScience

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