Mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT) is a new technique that enables prospective parents to avoid passing down certain serious medical conditions, called mitochondrial diseases, to their children. This therapy has drawn media attention in recent years, as scientists, ethicists, policymakers, and families discuss and debate its use in humans. Indeed, you may have come across the term “3-parent baby”, which refers to children who have been born using this technique.
This mini-lesson gives an overview of the science underlying MRT. Students will discuss the potential benefits as well as ethics around using MRT to prevent certain diseases, and consider the controversies surrounding the term “3-parent baby”.