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J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(3), 25; doi:10.3390/jcm6030025

Mitochondrial Modification Techniques and Ethical Issues

1
Escuela de Doctorado Universidad Católica de Valencia San Vicente Mártir, Valencia 46001, Spain
2
Facultad de Medicina y Odontología, Universidad Católica de Valencia San Vicente Mártir, Departamento de Ciencias Médicas Básicas, Grupo de Medicina Molecular y Mitocondrial, Valencia 46001, Spain
3
Institute of Life Sciences, Universidad Católica de Valencia San Vicente Mártir, Valencia 46001, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Iain P. Hargreaves
Received: 27 December 2016 / Revised: 7 February 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1369 KB, uploaded 24 February 2017]   |  

Abstract

Current strategies for preventing the transmission of mitochondrial disease to offspring include techniques known as mitochondrial replacement and mitochondrial gene editing. This technology has already been applied in humans on several occasions, and the first baby with donor mitochondria has already been born. However, these techniques raise several ethical concerns, among which is the fact that they entail genetic modification of the germline, as well as presenting safety problems in relation to a possible mismatch between the nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, maternal mitochondrial DNA carryover, and the “reversion” phenomenon. In this essay, we discuss these questions, highlighting the advantages of some techniques over others from an ethical point of view, and we conclude that none of these are ready to be safely applied in humans. View Full-Text
Keywords: mitochondrial disease; mitochondrial replacement; gene editing; ethics; pronuclear transfer; maternal spindle transfer; polar body transfer; CRISPR; TALENs mitochondrial disease; mitochondrial replacement; gene editing; ethics; pronuclear transfer; maternal spindle transfer; polar body transfer; CRISPR; TALENs
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Gómez-Tatay, L.; Hernández-Andreu, J.M.; Aznar, J. Mitochondrial Modification Techniques and Ethical Issues. J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6, 25.

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