Tested since 2015 in the UK, research into the nuclear transfer technique, which has been shown to be a treatment through mitochondrial donation, is carried out by the Newcastle Fertility Centre.
As of 2018, the UK Human Reproduction and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has approved the first in vitro fertilization trials using this technique. A process that does not allow the disease to be treated by the mother, not without risk to the child.
Mitochondria are the micro-organelles in almost all human cells and generate most of the cell’s energy. They are mainly supplied by the oocyte during fertilization and are therefore essentially of maternal origin.
Mitochondria sometimes have genetic abnormalities that cause serious and incurable medical conditions. To prevent a mother whose mitochondria are dysfunctional from passing this abnormality on to her offspring, the mother’s mitochondria are replaced with mitochondria from a donor.
Until now, women with defective mitochondria could apply for egg donation. With mitochondrial donation, the embryos carry the biological father’s DNA, the biological mother’s DNA, and the donor’s mitochondrial ARD (representing 37 additional genes).
To date there is no guarantee that a child conceived in this way is really freed from the disease by the mother’s pulse. Oxford University professor Dagan Wells of genetic engineering, interviewed by the Guardian, admits that while the clinical experiences of the mitochondrial transfer technique are encouraging, the number of cases is still too small to guarantee the safety and effectiveness of the technique. Art.
In fact, the mitochondria of the egg nucleus during nuclear transfer can remain attached, multiply or even take over compared to healthy mitochondria. This involves selecting in vitro an embryo that will have a rate of abnormal mitochondria below 10%, but also verifying the absence of “conversion” during pregnancy through prenatal tests.
This technique places two moral offenses on two levels. The first is in vitro fertilization in general, which is criticized for many reasons: the adulterer’s acquisition of male gametes, first of all, and all the consequences, such as the multiple failures of embryos in the history of this art. in the second place.
The second transgression is specific to this technique: from in vitro fertilization to prenatal control, except for the selection of the embryo, the transfer of the mitochondrial technique is a fraudulent manipulation, which today is still uncertain and an ethical question from the point of view of dignity, genetic heritage. and the health of these experimental subjects.
There are now many studies on epigenetics that have shown that the various manipulations that surround in vitro fertilization are responsible for a large number of genetic diseases. The full list is drawn up…