Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Institute of Medicine in the United States currently studying the ethical and social implications of mithochondrial replacement therapy

Following the approval of legislation to license clinics to perform mitochondrial replacement therapy in the United Kingdom, United States may now be following suit. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to produce a “consensus report regarding the ethical and social policy issues related to genetic modification of eggs and zygotes to prevent transmission of mitochondrial disease”. Subsequently, IOM set up a committee which plans to meet approximately five times over the course of the study. The first committee met in January 2015, the second is expected to be in March 2015, which will include a 2 day public workshop in addition to a closed committee session. The third committee will meet in May 2015, which will include a public comment session with two closed committee meetings, during which the committee will draft and finalise the final report. OrphaNews will provide readers with information on the proceedings of these meeting as they become available. You can also receive updates from the IOM website . 

Mitochondrial DNA

Human DNA is found in the chromosomes of cell, and inside  mitochondria in the cytoplasm.  Mitochondria are the power generator of the cell providing the intermediary metabolites for cellular metabolism. The presence of DNA defects in this organelle can cause serious disease. The defects are  inheritable. The key difference in inheritability of mitochondrial DNA is that the mitochondrial DNA is transmitted by the female in  her ovum cytoplasm.

The List of Mitochondrial Disease

Audio report - William Gahl MD

This will be the first time mitochondrial DNA therapy is attempted.  Previous DNA therapy has been focused on nuclear DNA diseases, such as Cystic Fibrosis, 

                   Nuclear DNA Disease

Health Problems with  Mitochondrial Disorders

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