July 11, 2016
(STAT News) – The next great advance in fertility treatments may rest with five young monkeys in a lab outside of town. Each of the five carries genes from three parents instead of two, because they were conceived using a novel — and controversial — gene therapy. They seem to be completely ordinary. But researchers are watching them closely to make sure they age normally, can reproduce, and have healthy children. If so, the three-parent fertilization technique will likely be tried in humans, potentially helping women with certain genetic glitches give birth to healthy children. The same approach might also someday provide older women a chance to extend their fertility by freshening up their eggs with contributions from another woman.