Mitochondrial replacement therapy, or three-parent IVF, is an effort to eliminate rare mitochondrial diseases in embryos, which can damage the brain, heart, liver, skeletal muscles, and respiratory systems.
Unfortunately, inherited defects in mitochondrial DNA can lead to severe or even fatal results, and it happens in about one in every 5,000 births.
Despite the controversial nature of the procedure, the U.K. approved the practice two years ago, and the U.S. is on the verge of giving it the okay.
It s worth pointing out that Egli s experiment was conducted on embryonic stem cells, and not in real world conditions.
As reproductive biologist Mary Herbert pointed out in Nature News, levels of mutant mitochondria fluctuate wildly in stem cells.
The U.K. s Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority HEFA took note of the new study, and said it will wait for further experiments before approving the first mitochondrial replacement in humans.