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Three-parent IVF possibly to begin next year in Britain

| | July 23, 2014

New regulations to allow mitochondrial DNA transfer will now be put before parliament following a three month consultation.

If passed, Britain will become the first European country to legalise the process and more than 100 “three-parent” babies could be born in the UK each year.

Under the technique, parents at high risk of having children with severe disabilities such as muscular dystrophy will be offered donor DNA from a “second mother” to fix genetic defects.

Mitochondrial DNA is passed through the mother and defects can cause problems such as heart and liver disease. About one in 6,500 children is born with mitochondrial disease in the UK.

“Mitochondrial replacement” therapy would avoid the risk of mothers transmitting such defects to their children, while still passing on the rest of their and their partner’s characteristics.

Doctors would remove the nucleus from a donor egg and replace it with genetic material from the mother’s egg, either before or after fertilisation by the father. The resulting egg could be implanted using IVF techniques.

Read the full, original story: Three-parent babies given green light by government


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