Scientists today offered new hope for women at risk of passing on certain inherited diseases to their children, in the form of a pioneering technique to move healthy genetic material from fertilised eggs into donated ones.
Researchers from Newcastle University say their breakthrough will help women whose children are at risk of a range of mitochondrial diseases. These disorders can be mild or very severe, and can cause muscle weakness, blindness, heart and liver failure, diabetes and learning disabilities. They affect one child in every 6,500. […]
The Newcastle University researchers write in the journal Nature that they have successfully transplanted the healthy DNA in human eggs from women with mitochondrial disease into the eggs of women donors who are unaffected.
“What we have done is like changing the battery on a laptop,” said Professor Doug Turnbull, one of the study leaders. “The energy supply now works properly but none of the information on the hard drive has been changed.
“A child born using this method would have correctly functioning mitochondria but in every other respect would get all their genetic information from their father and mother.”