Scientists have announced that “Three-parent babies” could be a reality by the end of next year following successful preclinical analysis,.
The controversial procedure will now be referred to regulators to consider whether it can be licensed for use on women in the UK.
Known as Mitochondrial replacement therapy, the process was introduced as a way to protect a child from faulty DNA found in their parents.
Essentially a mother’s faulty DNA found in her egg is replaced through IVF using a healthy mother’s DNA and the father’s sperm fertilises the egg thus resulting in the three-parent child.
Study lead author Professor Mary Herbert, from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research at Newcastle University, said:
Having overcome significant technical and biological challenges, we are optimistic that the technique we have developed will offer affected women the possibility of reducing the risk of transmitting mitochondrial DNA disease to their children.”
Three-parent children is certainly a divisive topic. Those who are pro it argue that there are currently no treatments for mitochondrial diseases, which affect about 1 in 6,500 babies in the more serious forms.
They feel that if you can increase the chances of having a healthy baby, why wouldn’t you?
Those against it argue it’s wrong on either or both religious and ethical grounds as the transfer technique involves creating and then destroying a fertilised egg in order to treat another embryo.
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