Bioethics News

Human Embryo Experiment Shows Progress Toward ‘Three-Parent’ Babies

December 1, 2016

(The Washington Post) – The technique used in swapping the genetic material was not immaculate: Some mutant DNA remained in the fertilized eggs and the ensuing replicating stem cell lines. In some of those stem cell lines the mitochondria reverted to the mother’s disease-carrying genetic code. That happened in about 10 to 15 percent of the stem cells, which was a surprise, because that hadn’t been seen in experiments with animal models. They concluded that, going forward, the donors of healthy mitochondrial DNA need to be carefully screened for compatibility with the mother’s mitochondrial DNA.

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