A groundbreaking scientific technique called mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT) has resulted in the birth of a baby in the UK with three people’s DNA, according to The Guardian.
The majority of the child’s DNA came from their parents, but around 0.1% came from a third person, a woman.
This technique is designed to prevent mitochondrial diseases, which occur when mitochondria fail to produce energy for cells in the body. Symptoms include poor growth, muscle weakness and spasms.
Less than five babies have been born in the UK using this technique, which was approved by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) in 2017.
The UK is the first country to allow MRT. Peter Thompson, CEO of the HFEA, stated that mitochondrial donation provides families with severe inherited mitochondrial illnesses the opportunity to have a healthy child.
“Applications are assessed on an individual basis against the tests set out in the law and only after independent advice from experts,” he explained.
This breakthrough could have significant implications for families affected by mitochondrial diseases, who can now have hope for the possibility of having a healthy child.
However, there remain concerns about the ethical implications of altering human DNA, and the long-term effects of the procedure are yet to be determined.