November 30, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

heteroplasmy

5 min read

A new paper from a UK team yesterday showed that mitochondrial replacement therapy faces a serious and difficult safety hurdle fitting with similar findings from an earlier recent study from a different team led by Dieter Egli, but the UK media and some scientists there are engaging in hype, claiming the exact opposite. They are pushing the unscientific meme that mitochondrial replacement, also known by other terms such as 3-person IVF, has now been shown to be safe and will produce safe pregnancies. It’s a powerful example of science …Read More

5 min read

The Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte group published a Cell paper today on using gene editing to reverse mutations associated with human mitochondrial disease. The paper is Reddy, et al. and is entitled, “Selective Elimination of Mitochondrial Mutations in the Germline by Genome Editing”. The authors report success using TALEN-based gene editing or mitochondrial-direct restriction enzyme (mito-ApaLI) to reduce the burden of mutant mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Their work was done primarily in mice, but also using chimeras made with murine oocytes fused with human cells bearing …Read More

3 min read

A new piece came out yesterday on the Wellcome Trust Blog, strongly promoting approval of so-called “3-Parent IVF” or Mitochondrial Transfer technology by the UK Parliament. As I written in the past (here and here), my view is that this would be a mistake at this time. There is room for respectful disagreement on this issue between scientists, although I realize I’m up against some very prominent scientists including Drs. Peter Braude and Robin Lovell-Badge, whose past response to my open letter to the UK Parliament was …Read More

5 min read

The following is a response to my Open Letter to the UK Parliament on mitochondrial transfer/3-parent technology from Drs. Peter Braude and Robin Lovell-Badge. Dear Professor Knoepfler, We read your open letter to the UK Parliament and the Science and Technology Committee with interest and concern. We are two scientists, like you, with particular interests in genetics, stem cell and developmental biology and preimplantation genetic diagnosis, who were appointed amongst others to form a Panel of independent advisors to the HFEA and the UK …Read More