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Photo: Katie Rollings/Getty Images

A group of scientists, patient advocates and bioethicists are pushing for Washington to lift the ban on mitochondrial replacement therapy, a procedure that combines genetic material from a mother, father and female donor, Stat News reports.

The big picture: Advocates for the procedure say it helps women who carry genetic diseases have healthy children that are biologically related to them. Opponents cite safety, ethical and religious concerns.

What's new: Last week, a Greek woman had the first successful birth in a clinical trial of the treatment.

Where it stands: Congress passed an amendment in 2015 that effectively banned the procedure in the U.S., and it's been renewed every year since.

  • Congress could either change the amendment, which is voted on every year, or the Food and Drug Administration could change its interpretation of it.

How it works: The point, at least for supporters in the U.S., is to help babies avoid mitochondrial diseases, which are inherited through the mother's DNA. Other countries have used it as a response to infertility.

  • Mitochondrial therapy involves taking the nucleus of the mother's egg and placing it into a donor egg that has healthy mitochondria and has had its nucleus removed.
  • The egg is fertilized with sperm before or after this, and then the rest of the in vitro fertilization process is standard.
  • The baby then ends up with DNA from all three people involved, although only with a tiny amount from the donor.

Go deeper: The next generation of fertility treatments

Go deeper

Pelosi calls raising the debt ceiling a bipartisan responsibility

Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a "dear colleague" statement Sunday evening, calling on Congress to act in a bipartisan manner to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

Why it matters: Congress is fast approaching an October deadline to raise the nation's debt ceiling and avoid a government shutdown. But the issue has become a thorny partisan stand-off.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Beto not even best Dem against Abbott

Beto O'Rourke speaks at a rally at the Texas State Capitol in June. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Actor Matthew McConaughey’s nine-point lead in a theoretical matchup against Greg Abbott shows just how vulnerable the hard-right Texas governor could be in a general election.

Why it matters: Abbott has won conservative accolades for his abortion, mask and vaccine bans. Axios reported Sunday that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to announce a gubernatorial challenge — but a recent poll shows he’s not even the most popular Democrat in the state.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Delayed maps upend midterm campaigns

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Midterm candidates are panicking about how the congressional maps will ultimately be drawn, with several strategists telling Axios campaigns are in limbo.

Why it matters: Candidates are unsure if the district they're targeting will remain intact or be reshaped by the process. The uncertainty is especially vexing to Democrats, who are vying to maintain their narrow margin in the House.