UK permits three-Parent IVF
Dr K K Aggarwal, National President IMA
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) in the United Kingdom has granted permission to create babies from 2 women and 1 man. The technique termed as "3-parent IVF” involves transferring genetic material from the nucleus of an egg or embryo from a woman carrying a mitochondrial disease into an egg or embryo from a healthy donor that has had its nuclear DNA removed, but where the healthy mitochondria remain. This means that the resulting embryo will have the affected mother's nuclear DNA but will not inherit the mitochondrial disease, allowing a woman carrying defective mitochondria to have healthy children.
The resulting embryo has the nuclear DNA of the mother and father, including their physical characteristics and traits, but the healthy mitochondrial DNA of the donor. This is why
Mitochondrial IVF will be licensed for use in clinics across the UK. Treatment could start as early as spring 2017.
Mitochondrial donation could help as many as 250,000 women in the UK who are at risk of passing on harmful DNA mutations in the mitochondria that could lead to debilitating conditions in their children. When babies are born with defective mitochondria, they can develop serious health problems, such as heart and liver disease and respiratory problems.