Natural Human Fertilisation all begins when the man inserts his penis into the women’s vagina. Approximately 400 million sperm are ejaculated from the penis during sexual intercourse they then swim up the vagina, through the cervix and into the uterus. It can take up to 10 hours for sperm to enter the uterus, at which point there are approximately 500,000 sperm cells left. Finally the sperm enter the fallopian tubes of a female. These sperm are looking for an ovum to fertilise. Once one sperm has fertilised the ovum no other sperms can enter. This fertilised ovum rapidly divides into two cells, these cells then divide multiple times. Over 9 months, these cells will grow into a baby. Mitochondrial disease is caused by mutations in mitochondria. The small organelles that are present in every cell except red blood cells generate around 90% of the energy we need to live. Cells cannot function properly without healthy mitochondria so when complications occur the consequences can be very serious. Mitochondria is responsible for the production of the cells energy from glucose sugar and is known as the powerhouse of the cell. Children who have mitochondrial disease suffer from medical and health problems. MELAS stands for ‘mitochondrial encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and strokes’ when the mutation is at high levels you could have brain problems includes strokes Migraines and seizures you can also have high lactic acid in your blood. It can even cause Diabetes. ochondrial Replacement Therapy includes replacing the mitochondrial DNA of an embryo which is at risk of mitochondrial disease. The replacement would involve healthy mitochondrial DNA from a donor, or the “third parent.” The goal of MTR is to prevent the birth of children who would be wheelchair bound.There are three MRT techniques: Pronuclear Transfer, Maternal Spindle Transfer and Polar Body Transfer. Pronuclear Transfer is when vitro fertilisation techniques are used to create an embryo with the intended parents’ sperm and egg. The appearing embryo contains the mother’s unhealthy mitochondria, found in the cytoplasm of her egg. The first day of embryonic development, whilst the embryo is still a single undivided cell, the two pronuclei of the egg and sperm are removed from the cell to transfer. Removing the pronuclei will leave behind nearly all of the mother’s unhealthy nuclei. Maternal Spindle Transfer is quite similar to Pronuclear Transfer however, the main difference between PNT and MST is that Maternal Spindle Transfer uses unfertilised eggs, instead undeveloped embryos are used in Pronuclear Transfer. Polar Body Transfer is a new MRT technique. In this process the first polar body is formed during egg maturation, the DNA then duplicates itself so the egg carries four chromosome sets. The second polar body is formed during fertilisation. A set of the leftover chromosomes are stored, this forms the second polar body. The other set will then create the nuclear DNA of the embryo and the sperm. The baby will not be harmed during MRT because the procedure is safe and has been conducted before. There may be long term affects due to MRT, because eggs are organised cells. Replacing the nucleus does not stop the baby from developing, but it causes damage to the cell that probably requires radical re-organisation the effects of this are still unknown and could cause problems later in life, such as an increased chance of diabetes. The third parent is just as important as the mother and father of the baby. The baby is highly advantaged because it will no longer have mitochondrial disease. The good things revolving around MRT outweigh the bad things which means that the baby has a higher chance of living a healthy life. I believe this therapy should become a normal therapy because there are many techniques and it is a great start to stopping Mitochondrial Disease.

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