A new study published in the Nature Journal last week highlighted a discovery using stem cells. “Having a better performance rate and more accurate” than gene therapy, the technique allows mitochondrial diseases to be treated.
Mitochondria are small cell organelles that produce energy required by cells. They possess their own DNA and mitochondrial DNA. Transmitted by the mother, mitochondrial diseases are due to mutations in this DNA.
They manifest in serious cardiac, neurological or visual problems. Between 1,000 and 4,000 children are born with these conditions in the United States every year but treatments are currently limited and mainly symptomatic.
Nature (15/07/2015) ; LA Times (15/07/2015)