mitochondrial transfer

Unnatural Selection review: captivating mind-bender but needed more science

Unnatural-Selection-with-patient-Jackson-Kennedy

Today’s post is a review of Unnatural Selection, the new Netflix science docuseries focused on CRISPR and other disruptive genetic and reproductive technologies. The show is an interesting mix of personalities and stories from patients, scientists, biohackers, and more. One patient thread is the story of a wonderful little boy named Jackson Kennedy. He wants …

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FDA chides US doc who genetically modified human embryo in reported 3-person IVF

John-Zhang-with-3-person-IVF-baby

The FDA sent a stern letter today to Dr. John Zhang, PhD, MD, the physician who last year created a genetically modified human embryo in the U.S. and then exported it to Mexico where he self-reported creating a genetically modified baby boy. While the genetically modified baby created in Mexico was reportedly seemingly OK, it’s not clear …

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CRISPR, human genetic modification, & a needed course correction

coverGMO-e1498086048321

Are designer babies made using CRISPR or other genetic modification technologies closer to reality today? If so, what exactly should we do about it? Researchers can use CRISPR to genetically modify just about any organism or its cells, but targeting humans is the subject of the most intense discussion including using CRISPR in the human germline …

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New Herbert lab Nature paper reinforces mitochondrial replacement Achilles heel

Herbert-mitochondria-Nature-paper

Today a new Nature paper from Dr. Mary Herbert’s group in the UK has found a key problem with mitochondrial replacement therapy that fits with data from others. The goal of preventing mitochondrial disease using various kinds of genome transfer technologies is a noble one, but mitochondrial replacement therapy has faced a number of technological …

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UK should freeze mitochondrial replacement as Egli paper ID’s serious problem

Egli-genetic-drift-paper

An important new Cell Stem Cell paper from Dieter Egli’s lab points to an inherent, serious problem with so-called 3-person IVF or mitochondrial replacement technology that warrants putting an immediate hold on all efforts to use it in humans. I have pasted the graphical abstract from the paper below. For years a few of us scientists and …

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Nature mixed signals on 3-person IVF: deep risks, but forge ahead

3-parent-baby

Nature recently published a thorough, insightful piece on the major risks that would come with the use of so-called 3-person IVF (aka mitochondrial transfer or 3-parent baby method). In the UK 3-person IVF has, as of earlier this year, the government’s blessing to proceed despite the many serious unresolved risks that Nature‘s own piece so nicely …

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Nita Farahany Interview on Human Germline Modification: Defining A Road Forward

Nita-Farahany

The topic of heritable human genetic modification has been heating up recently. Prominent scientists, ethicists, and legal scholars have being weighing in, and there is a range of attitudes. Some favor a complete, moratorium including even lab work, while on the other end of the spectrum there are those who have a more liberal perspective. Many …

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Mitalipov Nature pub review: IPSC & SCNT for mitochondrial disease

Mitalipov-IPSC-paper

In a new, thought-provoking paper today in Nature, Shoukhrat Mitalipov and a multi-institutional team report a significant advance toward potential novel ways to treat mitochondrial diseases. What are these illnesses? Mitochondrial diseases are rare, but devastating disorders caused by genetic mutations. Today they are largely impossible to treat in meaningful ways other than palliative care. Some …

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