A Controversial Infertility Tool (Abstract Science: Sept. 26-30)
Three parent conception, catching the immunotherapy wave and a scoring system for antibodies.
(New Scientist, 9/27/16, Jessica Hamzelou)
A five-month-old boy is the first baby to be born using a new technique that incorporates DNA from three people. The controversial technique, which allows parents with rare genetic mutations to have healthy babies, has only been approved in the UK. The controversial procedure was conducted in Mexico by a US specialist on a Jordanian couple. The physician used a spindle nuclear transfer, which involves removal of the nucleus from one of the mother's eggs and inserting it into a donor egg that had had its own nucleus removed. The resulting egg – with nuclear DNA from the mother and mitochondrial DNA from a donor– is then fertilized with the father's sperm.
(The Washington Post, 9/28/16, Laurie McGinley)
Many cancer researchers compare the progress in immunotherapy to medical milestones such as the discovery of penicillin or the development of chemotherapy. But turning science into cures will take years of perseverance against daunting hurdles, researchers say. Here's a primer about these new treatments and how they work.
(Nature, 9/29/16, Monya Baker)
Biomedical experts plan to create a scoring system that will help researchers choose reliable antibodies for their experiments. The idea evolved from a meeting hosted this week in Asilomar, California, by the Washington-based Global Biological Standards Institute (GBSI), one of several groups concerned that poorly characterized antibodies are a major culprit behind the irreproducibility of biology experiments.