After a decade of halting a specific fertility method involving the insertion of mitochondria, the power producers in cells that convert energy into a form that cells can use, from a second woman into a human egg before or after it is fertilized. The FDA is asking a group of scientists if enough animal research has been done in order to restart this research on humans. The debate goes on.
The up side of inserting mitochondria is to eliminate a specific genetic disease in the host mother’s DNA. Or, I believe, in the case of a fertilized egg, the process would eliminate the genetic disease carried by the father. There are many facets to the down side of using this method. The first is that the process is irreversible. In other words, the genetic disorder would be eradicated in succeeding generations. That sounds good, but no one knows what other mutations might occur in the future. The second, is scary. This process could evolve into one with a less altruistic purpose. It could evolve into genetic engineering, i.e., introduce mitochondria to alter the color, sex, height, etc. of the human baby. The third cause for concern is personal and psychological. Would the child consider itself as having two Moms? Would the mitochondria donor be treated like a sperm donor?
Another specter might arise. Remember when large population countries such as India and CHina began aborting female fetuses? Wouldn’t it be ironic if, even though two females are needed for this procedure, the world became over-populated with men? We know what happens when there is too much testosterone and not enough women or jobs. Wars and rumors of wars under the false banner of religion inflict the just and the unjust. Let’s have a little more research, if you please.