Hebrews 5:12-14 (KJV) "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
Proverbs 27:17 (KJV) "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."
Regulators in the United Kingdom have given doctors the green light to perform mitochondrial donation therapy on two British women. The controversial form of IVF results in “three-parent babies,” and the women will be the first in the U.K. to undergo the procedure.
Most of a person’s DNA — 99.8 percent — is found in the 23 pairs of chromosomes that reside in the nucleus of their cells. The rest is located in the mitochondria, which sit outside the cell’s nucleus.
According to minutes from the HFEA’s approval committee, the two women set to undergo the therapy carry a mutation in a mitochondrial gene that causes a rare condition known as myoclonic epilepsy with ragged red fibres (Merrf syndrome).
Mitochondria are passed from mother to child, so with traditional IVF, the Merrf mutation would have certainly been passed on to the women’s children. The hope is that this unique treatment will allow them to give birth to children that are biologically theirs but that don’t carry the Merrf mutation.
“It’s good to do this,” Salvatore DiMauro, an expert in mitochondrial disease at Columbia University in New York, told The Guardian. “Merrf is a crippling disease. It’s the only way to be sure it is not passed on.”
While this is the first time mitochondrial donation therapy has been approved in Britain, it has been performed elsewhere.
New York doctor John Zhang performed the procedure on a woman with Leigh syndrome, and in 2016, she gave birth to a child who did not inherit his mother’s fatal disorder. In fact, less than 1 percent of the baby boy’s mitochondria carries the mutation. In 2017, an infertile couple in Ukraine gave birth to a baby conceived via mitochondrial donation therapy.
In 2017, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) forbid Zhang from performing the therapy in the U.S., which is one of the reasons the U.K. approval is so exciting. The FDA’s decision was a step backward after the initial success in Mexico, but if the therapy is successful in the U.K., it could convince the rest of the world that the therapy is worthy of further exploration.
People who carry mitochondrial mutations might never get the chance to have children, and if they do, those children might suffer from debilitating, sometimes fatal illnesses. Mitochondrial donation therapy may still be very new, but it has already exhibited significant promise as a way to help these women achieve their goals of having healthy offspring.
Sure, the concept of three-parent babies might seem out of the ordinary now, but if the procedure gains traction, it could one day become as accepted as traditional IVF. Hopefully, the Newcastle procedures will go according to plan, and the two women will have the opportunity to raise healthy children of their own.
THERE'S HOPE - SALVATION - MARANATHA!
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