Unexpected Risks Found In Editing Genes To Prevent Inherited Disorders
Uknown to many is the fact that DNA is present not only in the nuclei of cells, but also in the cell's power generation organelle, the mitochondria.
There the mitochondria generates it's power generating ATP and also contains DNA and RNA. The hidden risk is that during meiosis and later fertilization of the female egg, the new zygote contains cytoplasm from the mother as well as nuclear DNA. The male sperm contains little, if any cytoplasm.
Thus the female contributes cellular mitochondria (containing DNA) to the fertilization. So the new oocyte contains not only nuclear DNA formed by meiosis it also contains cellular DNA from mother. Therein lies a new risk factor.
Some genetic diseases are caused by mutations or defects in mitochondrial DNA.
There are several neuro-muscular diseases caused by mitochondrial defects.
Gene Therapy To Prevent Inherited Diseases May Cause Other Ills : Shots - Health News : NPR