mitochondrial replacement

Last year, I wrote a paper for one of my classes on the ethical dilemmas of mitochondrial replacement therapy. I spent nine weeks on that paper. This year, my anatomy prof. had apparently read my paper, and invited me to go with him to this year’s Nobel Conference. This year’s topic: reproductive technologies; how far should we go? It was great to hear all the different perspectives on human genome technologies, (google CRISPR-Cas9 if you want more information) but there was one phrase that a woman ,who worked as an IVF technician in the United Kingdom, used that troubled me. “We must alleviate the burden of choice from parents in regards to treatment of genetic illness.” At what point does “alleviating the burden of choice,” waltz into “removing the freedom of choice” from the parents of these children? I’m sure “alleviating the burden of choice,” really worked out well for Charlie Gard’s parents.

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Making a Baby With Three Parents

In hopes of preventing a host of serious diseases potentially passed on to a child by a mother with mitochondrial mutations, scientists are pursuing mitochondrial transfer or mitochondrial replacement therapy. Because it involves combining mitochondrial DNA from a healthy mother with nuclear DNA from two parents, the procedure is sometimes called “three-parent in vitro fertilization” — a term almost as controversial as the procedure itself. In this clip from the 2014 World Science Festival program "Designer Genes: Fashioning Our Biological Future” fertility specialists Paula Amato and Jamie Grifo discuss the science of the procedure.

By: World Science Festival.