IVF break­through in Bri­tain

Saturday Star - - WORLD -

LON­DON: Doc­tors have three women lined up to give birth to the UK’s first “three-par­ent” ba­bies after get­ting the green light from a fer­til­ity reg­u­la­tor.

The first are ready to have IVF us­ing a sec­ond wo­man’s mi­to­chon­drial DNA and could be preg­nant in months.

New­cas­tle fer­til­ity clinic yes­ter­day was granted a licence to re­place a mother’s de­fec­tive ge­netic ma­te­rial with healthy miti­chon­drial DNA from an­other wo­man.

In the big­gest l eap for­ward for fer­til­ity treat­ment since IVF, the clinic will seek li­cences for three women un­der 40.

The first baby could be born to two women who know each other, with eligible women un­der­stood to have asked friends to be egg donors.

But while two women will be in­volved in the suc­cess­ful birth of each child, the sec­ond will have no real ge­netic link, con­tribut­ing only mi­to­chon­drial DNA.

The con­tro­ver­sial tech­nique, which crit­ics fear could pave the way for de­signer ba­bies, is a life­line for up to 3 000 women in dan­ger of pass­ing on deadly dis­eases such as mus­cu­lar dys­tro­phy.

Pro­fes­sor Sir Doug Turn­bull, of the Well­come Cen­tre for Mi­to­chon­drial Re­search at New­cas­tle Univer­sity, said: “This is a mo­men­tous day.” – Daily Mail

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