Fatal Risks Found in Three-Parent Mitochondrial Replacement to Babies!

Admin | Published 2017-01-02 00:47

The controversial mitochondrial replacement method has quickly gained traction and has gained approval in the UK just last month, but other experts in the industry have published their research on the risks of the therapy that is believed to be a fix of otherwise incurable genetic diseases.

The first successfully born baby from mitochondrial replacement method wherein DNA of two women and a man are mixed to ensure that a child's damaged genes will be replaced by healthier ones through the third person, through a second mother. The UK has also gave the go signal to the approval of the third-parent policy last December 2016 which means clinics in the country can apply for approval to carry out the method to their patients whose babies are thought to need the genetic fix. But just in the same month of the approval in UK, the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland published their own take that counters the proponents of the policy. The contrarian study suggests that there are 15 percent chances of failure in the mitochondrial replacement. In that case, fatal defects may return, or even increase a child's vulnerability to new ailments. The original and replacement mitochondria of two mothers may cause potential tragedies. Lowering the risk of such tragedies, experts must work on ensuring the process of matching the eggs of two women to be in its top quality. "This study shows the potential as well as the risks of gene therapy in the germline," said Shoukhrat Mitalipov, head of the study. To prove that a problem can arise and that the defects may still return, Mitalipov created three-parent embryos from the eggs of three mothers carrying mutant mitochondrial DNA and from the eggs of 11 healthy women. True enough, in three cases, the original maternal mitochondrial DNA returned. "That original, maternal mitochondrial DNA took over," Mitalipov says, "and it was pretty drastic. There was less than 1 percent of the original maternal mitochondrial DNA present after replacement with donor DNA and before fertilization, and yet it took over the whole cell later." Mitalipov published his study in Nature. Source: npr.org See: Woman Gave Birth to “Miracle Baby” With Frozen Ovary She Had As a Child
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