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by Walter G. Johnson and Diana M. Bowman
Australia has become the second country in the world to explicitly authorize and regulate mitochondrial replacement therapies, offering hope to some families who want to have children but fear passing along inherited mitochondrial diseases to them.
These diseases affect the mitochondria, tiny structures in nearly every cell that generate the energy it needs to survive and function and, unlike cellular components other than the nucleus, have their own DNA. Underperforming mitochondria can lead to problems in organs like the heart, lungs, or eyes, and symptoms may progress and expand to other organs over time.
Read the full article on STAT here.
Image credit: National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) from Bethesda, MD, USA, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons