Clinic is allowed to fertilize with genetic material from three people
In Britain, doctors want to father children with the genetic makeup of three people. Only a few months ago, this method of artificial insemination had been approved in the United Kingdom. The process is very controversial.
New method to prevent transmission of inherited diseases
In December it was announced that three-parent babies could soon be born in Great Britain. The United Kingdom is the first country in the world to explicitly allow the controversial artificial insemination using genetic material from three people. The controversial technology is intended to prevent hereditary diseases from being passed on to children.
Permission granted for controversial fertilization
According to media reports, a British clinic has received permission from three people for the first time ever for a controversial artificial insemination using genetic material.
According to the information, the method is intended to prevent certain diseases that are inherited with the mitochondria. However, critics fear that such interventions will pave the way for so-called “designer babies”.
Mitochondria have their own DNA. They are the cell's power plants and provide energy. Mitochondrial malfunctions can lead to diseases such as muscle weakness and diabetes.
Disrupted cell power plants are replaced by mitochondria from a donor
In the new method, the mother's disturbed cell power plants are replaced by mitochondria from a donor. According to experts, the children created in this way will be similar to mother and father. The part of the hereditary disposition that comes from the strange woman, however, is small.
According to the information, doctors can now treat a total of 25 patients in this way. The first trials are said to start this spring.
Many years of research have led to this "treatment to reduce the risk of mothers transmitting the disease to their children," said Mary Herbert of Newcastle University in a statement.
In this way, families can be helped "who are affected by these devastating diseases".
First three-parent baby born in Mexico
The Fertility and Embryology Agency (HFEA) approved the method in the UK in December. It is the first country in the world to explicitly allow this treatment.
A baby was born for the first time in Mexico in April 2016 with the genetic makeup of three parents. There is no legal regulation for the reproductive medical procedure.
Long before legalization, critics warned of the new methods. "These techniques are unnecessary and unsafe and are actually rejected by the majority," said Dr. David King of the "Human Genetics Alert" years ago to the "BBC".
Other experts pointed out that mitochondrial replacement therapy may not always prevent the onset of the disease. (ad)