A new method has been developed to prevent genetic disorders from being passed on by adding a third DNA source. It might sound like mad science, but the FDA is considering the prospect of allowing trials of this technique to be done in the United States. So how does this work? Well, there is a part of a woman’s DNA (called Mitochondrial DNA) that can carry certain genetic disorders. These disorders are carried exclusively by the Mitochondrial DNA, and can only be inherited by the mother. If a mother is a carrier for one of these disorders, this technology allows scientists to use the nucleus (center) of the mother’s egg, which does not have Mitochondrial DNA, and put it in the egg of a donor. This will lead to the egg having the Mitochondrial DNA of a donor, and the nuclear DNA of the mother. Combine that with the sperm of the father, and you have a three-parent embryo. Although this technology has been developed to prevent the transmission of certain genetic disorders, it also opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Only time will tell what will develop from this ground breaking new science.
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