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UK Moving Toward Three-Person IVF

posted 21 Mar 2013, 07:03 by Mpelembe   [ updated 21 Mar 2013, 07:04 ]

Next Media - The UK could become the first country to allow the creation of babies from three parents after the country’s fertility regulator the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) advised that there is no evidence that advanced forms of IVF are unsafe.

The move comes several months after US scientists announced they had grown human embryos mixing genetic material from three parents.

A public consultation on the idea at the end of 2012 found there was support.

Humans possess two types of DNAs - nDNA in the cell nucleus, and mDNA in the cell mitochondria. While a baby receives nDNA from both parents, it only receives the mDNA from the mother. The technique makes it possible for a woman with genetic defects in her mDNA to avoid passing the defective genes onto the next generation by inserting the cell nucleus of the woman’s egg into a donor egg that has had its nucleus removed. Known as spindle transfer, the technique is currently at an early stage of research, but in the future could help circumvent maternally inherited genetic dysfunctions.


Sydney Morning Herald