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Published: Sat, March 18, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

Babies with THREE biological parents could be born in United Kingdom this year

Babies with THREE biological parents could be born in United Kingdom this year

Britain's Newcastle University says its scientists have received a license to create babies using DNA from three people, the first time such approval has been granted.

The advanced form of IVF will be used to prevent children dying from genetic diseases.

In December, the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority approved the technique as safe for clinical use.

It is thought that only a small minority of these women will choose to adopt the...

The team at the Newcastle Fertility Centre said it was "good news" and a "momentous day" for patients.

The doctors performed it in Mexico since current regulations in the U.S.do not allow it. Dr. David Agus told the CBS News that it would look like there were three parents but it would be more appropriate to say there were 2.001 parents.

The fertility technique, which was developed by Newcastle scientists, allows doctors to replace an egg's defective mitochondrial DNA with healthy DNA from a female donor to prevent children suffering debilitating conditions such as muscular dystrophy.

They believe first child with this advance technology to be born in year 2018.

HFEA chair, Sally Cheshire, said, "Patients will now be able to apply individually to the HFEA to undergo mitochondrial donation treatment at Newcastle, which will be life-changing for them as they seek to avoid passing on serious genetic diseases to future generations".

The mitochondria are structures found in the cells that create energy.

Mitochondrial diseases cause blindness, muscle weakness, deafness, seizures, diabetes, heart and liver failure, etc. according to the BBC.

Because mitochondria have their own DNA, the resulting embryo has DNA from three people, but only the biological parents' genes can influence the baby's physical appearance and personality.

The pronuclei transfer technique removes the egg and sperm pronuclei (the nuclear DNA) from a fertilized egg and inserting it into an embryo which has had its nuclear DNA removed.

"Many years of research have led to the development of pronuclear transfer as a treatment to reduce the risk of mothers transmitting disease to their children", Herbert said.

The team at Newcastle plans to offer mitochondrial donation to up to 25 women a year with mitochondrial disease.

If the treatment begins immediately and is successful, the UK's first three-parent baby could be born around Christmastime 2017.

However, the United Kingdom will not be the first country in the world to have children born through the three-person technique.

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