Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New Fertility Advance: Altering Mitochondria

This article is not directly surrogacy related, but it caught my eye when I was browsing the New York Times and I thought it was pretty fascinating.  A doctor has successfully found a way for women with mitochondrial genetic mutations to avoid passing those genetic defects onto their children.  The method involves combining the mother's egg with parts of a donor egg to leave out the mother's mitochondria.  Therefore, the resulting embryo actually contains DNA from three people - the mother, the father, and an egg donor.

Obviously, as with most scientific fertility advances, this discovery has caused lots of debate about the ethics/morality.  This procedure has not been approved for clinical trials at this point, but even if it is I'm not sure how many practical applications it will ever have.  It seems that if nothing else, the cost would probably be prohibitive for most people. 

Regardless of where you come down on the ethics of the issue, I find it amazing how many things they are able to do with science these days. 

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