Manipulating mitochondrial genomes in the clinic: playing by different rules

Trends Cell Biol. 2014 Apr;24(4):209-11. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2014.02.002.


Recently, several publications have surfaced describing methods to manipulate mitochondrial genomes in tissues and embryos. With them, a somewhat sensationalistic uproar about the generation of children with 'three parents' has dominated the discussion in the lay media. It is important that society understands the singularities of mitochondrial genetics to judge these procedures in a rational light, so that this ongoing discussion does not preclude the helping of patients and families harboring mutated mitochondrial genomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genome, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / genetics*
  • Patient Rights


  • DNA, Mitochondrial