In the future, kids may be introducing their three biological parents: mom, dad and donor. Britain has just granted Newcastle University in the United Kingdom permission to create babies using the DNA of three people, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.
Through a process of gene splicing, a mother, father, and donor’s genes are manipulated through cutting-edge technology designed to bypass genetic diseases that can be passed on from parent to baby.
Says the Tribune: “Scientists remove the nucleus DNA from the egg of a prospective mother and insert it into a donor egg from which the donor DNA has been removed. This can happen before or after fertilization. The resulting embryo ends up with nucleus DNA from its parents but mitochondrial DNA from a donor.”
Genetic conditions like muscular dystrophy are prevented through this process.
While Britain made the procedure legal last year, Newcastle is the first facility to receive approval to actually use the technique.
The process was used last year by American doctors on a Jordanian mother who was the carrier for Leigh syndrome, a rare neurological disorder. The team performed the surgery in Mexico (regulations are lighter there). The three-parent-baby IVF technique replaced her mitochondrial DNA with that from a donor. According to reports, the replaced DNA has no effect on appearance or personality traits.
The procedure has yet to be approved in the U.S.
Those seeking this medical procedure should note that the team at Newcastle University must apply for each individual patient to be treated. To date, no patient application has yet been approved.
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