For the first time ever, a new technique could allow babies with three genetic parents to be born
By 2015, 100 UK babies will have three parents, the Government has announced. At first, just 10 babies with a trio of genetic parents are expected to be born a year, but the Department of Health said last night this number could reach 125.
This new technique will ‘make’ babies free of certain inherited diseases and aims to give couples who have experienced infertility or repeated miscarriage the chance of having a healthy baby.
By 2015, 100 UK babies will have three parents, the Government has announced
The technique will work by removing the nucleus DNA from a healthy female donor’s eggs and replacing it with the nucleus DNA of the prospective mother, either before or after fertilization. The baby will inherit the mother’s nucleus DNA and so have their eye colour and height but will inherit the donor’s healthy mitochondrial DNA.
While the baby would effectively have two mothers and one father, the genetic contribution from the donor’s eggs (who would stay anonymous) is very small – amounting to less than one percent of the baby’s genes.
All other European counties have so far banned the technique. Ethical concerns have been raised about the genetic engineering aspect of the technique. But the Department of Health has said the only question is how the technique is implemented – not whether it’s allowed.
However, IVF treatment with three parents will not start until the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is satisfied of its safety.
And if a couple did want to go ahead with the procedure, they would first need the £20,000 it will cost.
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