When is three not a crowd?

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Is it safe?

Animal testing of the procedure has resulted in healthy offspring. Three independent reviews by independent scientific panels concluded that there was no evidence that it was unsafe. Critics are quick to point out however that no clinical trial has taken place to show conclusively that the treatment is safe in humans.
What are the alternatives?

To those not wishing to run the genetic gauntlet some alternatives to Mitochondrial transfer include adoption or IVF with eggs donated from a healthy woman. In either case there is no genetic relationship with the resulting offspring. One could I suppose opt for genetic testing at the various stages of pregnancies to determine if any mutations in mitochondrial DNA exist, but this has its own set of problems. In addition to the tests carrying a small risk of miscarriage any detection would be reactive rather than pre-emptive and the decision at this stage would be to terminate or not. One should also point out that there is a substantial risk that these tests will fail to detect substantial mitochondrial mutations.


I’m not sure I see an awful lot of negatives for supporting the new law. I understand the fear and reluctance that surrounds new techniques. With such unknowns involved a note of caution to proceed carefully has some credence, but to dismiss such a worthwhile endeavour altogether is unconscionable.

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