Apr 17, 2019

A renewed push for 3-parent IVF in the U.S.

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

America's food heroes

Photos: Charlie Riedel/AP (L); Brent Stirton/Getty Images

The people who grow, process and keep food stocked on shelves are doing heroic work in these conditions, often for bottom-barrel pay.

Why it matters: Millions of Americans don't have the luxury of working from home, and it's essential that food workers keep working so we can keep eating.

Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned Tuesday after apologizing for comments he made about Capt. Brett Crozier, who was removed after a letter he wrote pleading with the Navy to address the coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt was leaked to the press. The resignation was first reported by Politico.

Why it matters: The controversy over Crozier's removal was exacerbated after audio leaked of Modly's address to the crew, in which he said Crozier was either "too naive or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this." After initially backing Modly's decision, President Trump said at a briefing Monday that he would "get involved."

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,407,123— Total deaths: 81,103 — Total recoveries: 297,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 386,800 — Total deaths: 12,285 — Total recoveries: 20,191Map.
  3. Trump admin latest: Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill.
  4. Federal government latest: Senate looks to increase coronavirus relief for small businesses this week — Testing capacity is still lagging far behind demand.
  5. World update: China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown.
  6. Wisconsin primary in photos: Thousands gathered to cast ballots in-person during the height of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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