On Oct. 19, a team of researchers from Greece and Spain made a remarkable announcement: They had started six pregnancies using a new genetic technology, mitochondrial donation. This was not the first time the technology had been used, but it is the first clinical trial approved by a government. In this case, Greek regulators approved the trial back in 2016 for assisted reproduction. Now the team has reported that four live births have resulted from the trial, with at least one more pregnancy ongoing. While that number may seem small, he outcome is notable. Of the 25 women enrolled in the trial, all of whom had struggled to become pregnant even after several IVF attempts, almost one-quarter could successfully conceive with mitochondrial donation. This technology is promising—but now is the time to start considering when and why it should be used.
Mitochondria,the small organelles that produce energy for our cells, are critically important for the proper growth and functioning of our bodies. When they fail to do their job, cells are starved of energy, which can have devastating effects. Mitochondrial... see more