The tragic story of a 10-month old British baby who is on life support in a London hospital has focused a spotlight on an often-fatal rare genetic disease called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. The case even caught the attention of President Trump on Monday, who tweeted that “if we can help” the boy, Charlie Gard, “we would be delighted to do so.”
Charlie’s parents have said they hoped to bring him to the United States for an experimental treatment, but a months-long legal battle gave Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children permission to withdraw life support, inciting condemnation from the Vatican to the White House.
Birth Defect Research for Children (BDRC) posted an article in their newsletter that discusses how children inherit four times as many new mutations from their fathers than their mothers. Research suggests faults in the men’s DNA are drivers for rare childhood diseases.
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