OSHU has been busy! There are changes happening in how future in-vitro fertilization (IVF) transfers may take place at the Portland hospital. Women who want to have biological children, but may have eggs that carry a specific disease, such as heart disease or cancer, may soon have another option. Recent test trials at OHSU have been working to cut out the genes that carry these diseases, and replacing them with strands from primates. The OPB article stated:

"Shoukhrat Mitalipov, lead scientist for the project, and his team have taken the nucleus from the egg cell of one female monkey – with 99 percent of its DNA –and matched it with the cytoplasm of another healthy female, effectively ending up with an egg without any mutated mitochondrial DNA. Mitalipov states that, “We believe that this technique can be applied to existing human IVF techniques where a woman that carries this mutations can now have her own biological child, but her mitochondrial DNA causing these diseases can be replaced with healthy mitochondria.”

The spokesperson from GeneWatch, a non-profit group that monitors development in genetic technologies in the public interest, stated that more testing would be necessary for safety, as well as more ethical debate.

What do you think?

Read or listen to the OPB article here, and can read the BBC version here. if you would like to read the full research study, go to the Nature website to purchase the article.