British Scientists Receive Go Ahead To Create An Embryo With Two Mothers

by Jon Henshaw

In an effort to prevent the passing of certain genetic diseases — in this case Mitochondrial diseases — scientist have devised a way to use the intended mother’s egg with Mitochondrial DNA from a donor.

Instead of transplanting the pronuclei, these researchers injected another woman’s ooplasm - the substance inside the cell that contains the mitochondrial DNA and bathes the nucleus - into the egg cell of the mother with faulty mitochondrial DNA.

The UK research, permitted by the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority and funded by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, will check that transplanting the pro-nuclei works and is safe.

The resulting egg would never be allowed to develop into a baby.

But even if it did, the offspring would still resemble their mother and father because the mitochondrial DNA does not dictate things like hair color.

The researchers stress that this research is only the very first step in a very difficult process, which they hope will lead to techniques that might prevent the transmission of mitochondrial DNA disease.

About one in 5,000 children and adults are at risk of developing a mitochondrial disease.

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This entry was posted on Monday, September 12th, 2005 at 5:05 am and is filed under Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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