The UK government has given approval to the controversial IVF technique that would lead to the creation of babies with three parents. If the proposal is passed by its parliament then Britain would become first country to allow this technique. The decision has invited criticism from different calling it unethical, unnecessary and unsafe.
What is a ‘Three-Parent Baby?
It is a baby born with the genetic contribution (DNA) from three people. It is done through IVF technique which involves taking the nucleus of one egg (first female) and inserting it into the cytoplasm of another egg (second female) which has had its nucleus removed, but still contains mitochondrial DNA, and then fertilizing the hybrid egg with a sperm (third person). The purpose of the procedure is to remove a nucleus from a cell with defective mitochondria and place it in a donor cell with healthy mitochondria, which after fertilisation will contain a nucleus with genetic material from only the two parents.
How would this technique help?
As per experts, this method will give a choice to women with mitochondria disorders to bear children free from such diseases. These are caused by mutated mitochondria — tiny structures that supply power to human cells — and are passed from a mother, through the egg, to her child. It is said to affect one in every 6,500 babies. The technique will help combat genetic problems that can cause rare and debilitating conditions affecting the heart, muscles and brain.