Friday, April 16, 2010

Three-way IVF could one day help prevent serious disorders

A new technique enables scientists to replace damaged mitochondria during IVF. Nuclei from the dad’s sperm and the mom’s egg, which hold the parents’ DNA, are removed, and the defective mitochondria are left behind. The nuclei are then placed into another egg that has had its nucleus removed but that still has its mitochondria. While mutations in the mitochondrial DNA usually don’t cause serious illness, about one in 6,500 babies is born with mitochondrial disease that’s reponsible for serious and often fatal disorders such as heart failure, according to the BBC.

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