A vitro fertilization (IVF) technique, that could help prevent the transmission of certain genetic disorders from mother to child, has raked controversy and has still to go a long way to get clearance for human clinical trials.
U.S. health officials are mulling over whether to approve trials of the pioneering IVF technique that uses DNA from three people in an attempt to prevent illnesses like muscular dystrophy and respiratory problems.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and health advisors held a meeting on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the new technique that could prevent women affected by various mitochondrial diseases from transmitting their poor health conditions to their children.
The method for the IVF has been questioned by several pockets of the society as it involves combining genetic material from two different women’s egg cells. The technique has been questioned as it has crossed an ethical line proposed by the society. Thinkers also say the genetic changes introduced by the procedure could also be passed on to future generations.
On the other hand, health experts opine that the IVF method could address diseases when mitochondria start malfunctioning. Diseases occurs when the mitochondria, organelles that provide energy to cells, don’t work properly. Notably, mitochondria are inherited from the mother through the egg cell.
A researchers group led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health & Science University in Beaverton has produced a half-dozen monkeys using the mentioned IVF technique.
Mitalipov has said the FDA advisory panel that they seem healthy so far. But the FDA panel wishes to see more progress reports indicating the procedure to be safe for humans.