Go-ahead for Britain's first three-parent baby

An unnamed woman will undergo mitochondrial replacement therapy treatment at the Newcastle Fertility at Life clinic

Newcastle University gets green light to create three parent babies

Britain's Newcastle University says its scientists have received a license to create babies using DNA from three people to prevent women from passing on potentially fatal genetic diseases to their children-the first time such approval has been granted.

In December, British officials approved the "cautious use" of the techniques, which are meant to prevent women from passing on fatal genetic diseases to their children.

According to regulation, the use of this controversial technique has to be approved by the HFEA case by case.

The clinic says they already have women lined up for the therapy and hope to treat up to 25 women a year with NHS funding.

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

Doctors at the Newcastle Fertility Centre in northeast England will however not be able to go ahead with technique until an application by an individual patient has been approved.

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. The technique works by swapping the nucleus of a fertilized mother's egg, which contains the bulk of the baby's genetic material, into a donor egg that contains mitochondria but has had its nucleus removed.

They believe first child with this advance technology to be born in year 2018. Think of the mitochondria as each cell's energy-generating battery.

The team aim to offer treatment to 25 women a year and are now looking for egg donors. One in 4,300 children is born with severe symptoms, which lead to muscle weakness, blindness, deafness, seizures, learning disabilities, diabetes, and heart and liver failure.

The world's first three-person baby was born in September previous year in Mexico - where there are no laws preventing it - after doctors chose to ensure the unborn baby wouldn't carry a genetic condition found in his mother's genes.

"This will allow women with mitochondrial DNA mutations the opportunity for more reproductive choice".

"It's a great testament to the regulatory system here in the United Kingdom that research innovation can be applied in treatment to help families affected by these devastating diseases", said Mary Herbert, professor of reproductive biology at Newcastle University.

That means the first three-parent baby could be born around Christmas 2017.

The UK is the first country to legalise this procedure.

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