Three-Parent Baby: Mitochondrial Diseases and Gene Therapy

Arakaki, Alexa
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This paper was written for the Honors 491 class, instructed by Dr. Zoia Stoytcheva. I am a University of Hawai’i junior majoring in biology with the aim of pursuing a career in the medical field. I have always looked up to mothers and found it fascinating that the human body can create and shelter life. I discovered my passion for reproductive biology because I was interested in how humans form cellularly in an embryo. I wanted to research more about what takes place in embryos and mothers to birth children who are genetically sick. One of the diseases I found had to do with the mitochondria, which is maternally passed down. I did literature and narrative review, hoping to intertwine a relatable storyline with cellular knowledge. In doing so, I am hoping that my writing connects with all audience members and hope that it raises awareness about the emotional and physical trials that mothers face when trying to get pregnant, in the hopes of giving birth to healthy children.
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