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In February 2015, the UK decided to create a controversial exception to its law against any form of human germline modification to allow the creation of “three-person embryos” to prevent the transmission of some mitochondrial disease. Then and now, unresolved scientific concerns remained, and many people have been waiting to see whether the science will indeed come through.
Now, well-known Newcastle researchers including Mary Herbert and Douglass Turnbull have published an update to their six-year-old Nature paper, which originally described how their preferred form of mitochondrial replacement – pronuclear transfer (PNT) – “has the potential to prevent the transmission of mtDNA disease in humans.”
Shockingly, their new paper reports that the proof-of-concept studies upon which everyone had been basing their enthusiasm “were not well tolerated by normally fertilized zygotes.”
In other words, the scientific basis for the controversial UK law and HFEA policy change turns out to have been unfounded. It did not work.
Read full, original post: UK Researchers Now Say Three-Person Embryo Technique Doesn’t Work; Propose New Method