We don’t usually get too scientific here on Water Cooler Sports, but I saw this article over the weekend and while I understood only about 70% of it, I found it pretty interesting. I’ll try and explain:
Basically, there’s this thing in every cell called the mitochondria. The mitochondria, or the “mighty mitochondria” as it’s known around my condo, is the powerhouse of the cell and produces what the science community calls “ATP” which is energy.
So the mitochondria is pretty goddamn important because it essentially makes the energy you need to function in life. If your mitochondria is fucked up, it can effect your metabolism, your ability to maintain homeostasis, and pretty much everything in your life.
Here’s where it gets weird; 99.9% of your DNA is in the nucleus of your cells. You get half of it from your mom, and half from your dad. When they bang, and your dad ejaculates inside of your mom, his sperm penetrates her egg and they create a zygote which is a baby. That’s how babies are made. Sorry if I ruined that surprise for you, but there you go. Anyways there’s a very very small percentage of DNA in the mitochondria. It’s something like 37 chromosomes in the mitochondria DNA compared to like billions of chromosomes in nucleus’ DNA.
The mitochondrial DNA is always passed on by the mother. So yes you, even you have the DNA in your mitochondria from your mom. Now if the mother is at risk of having something fucked up in their mitochondria DNA, it obviously gives their offspring an increased risk of having some kind of disorder which can vary in severity. So scientists have figured out how to take the mitochondrial DNA from a third party woman with no risk of disorders and inject it in the embryo. This would then mean, 99.9% of the DNA of the embryo would be from the two parents that smashed each other, and then approximately 0.1% would be from this mystery woman with strong a mitochondria. That would be three biological parents.
Scientists call this “Mitochondria Replacement Therapy.” It’s illegal in the United States because it falls under the umbrella of genetic engineering or something. On top of that, there’s a shit ton of moral and ethical concerns as one of the ways they do this could be considered abortion since it involves taking the embryo and mashing it up like scrambled eggs and then tossing in the good mitochondria while rebuilding the embryo.
They have done this in the UK and Mexico (I know, shocker right?), but the babies are too young to see what the effects of MRT are yet. Obviously, the positives of this would be the ability to prevent some pretty severe disorders. On top of that, this actually could be a way that lesbian couples could have both of their DNA in their children. The negatives are the concerns for where this will take us in life. Eugenics could become an issue as maybe super humans may start being developed. If everyone has hugely strong and powerful mitochondria, I mean shit, maybe people will start to fly or throw cars or something. I don’t know, man. Shit’s wild.
There’s your science lesson for the day. Take that one to the water cooler to sound smart and then pray to God nobody asks any specific questions.
– Dr. Ketch