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The accuracy of these portraits is still an area of hot debate — most of them look rather generic. The NY Times staff tested it with a couple of their employees, circulating the DNA-inspired portraits and seeing if people could guess who it was supposed to be. None of the ~50 employees were able to identify reporter John Markoff, and only about 10 were able to identify video journalist Catherine Spangler. But even though the accuracy for a person's entire face is low, techniques for specific attributes, like eye color, have improved greatly. Of course, the whole situation raises a slew of civil liberties questions: "What traits are off limits? Should the authorities be able to test whether a suspect has a medical condition or is prone to violence should such testing be possible?"
The purpose of the procedure is to replace the mother's mitochondria, and that can happen in two different ways. In one method, doctors take eggs from the mother and from a donor, removing the nucleus of both. The mother's nucleus is then implanted in the donor's egg, which can then be fertilized by the father's sperm. The other method is similar, but both eggs are fertilized before the nucleus swap takes place.
There has been lively debate about this issue, with critics raising ethical concerns and questioning the procedure's success rate. They also bring up the slippery slope argument that this will lead to further genetic modification of children. Proponents point out that less than 0.1% of the child's DNA will come from the donor, and it won't affect anything other than the child's health.
Timothy D. Searchinger says recent science has challenged some of the assumptions underpinning many of the pro-biofuel policies that have often failed to consider the opportunity cost of using land to produce plants for biofuel. According to Searchinger, if forests or grasses were grown instead of biofuels, that would pull carbon dioxide out of the air, storing it in tree trunks and soils and offsetting emissions more effectively than biofuels would do. What is more, as costs for wind and solar power have plummeted over the past decade, and the new report points out that for a given amount of land, solar panels are at least 50 times more efficient than biofuels at capturing the energy of sunlight in a useful form. "It's true that our first-generation biofuels have not lived up to their promise," says Jason Hill said. "We've found they do not offer the environmental benefits they were purported to have, and they have a substantial negative impact on the food system."
Further reading: here, here, and here"