The United Kingdom (UK) has approved a controversial in vitro fertilization procedure that produces babies using the DNA from three people.
The procedure, which was developed in England, was initially used when the mother’s DNA contains genetic malformations that can cause neurological defects in her baby.
The UK, which is comprised of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, plans to offer the procedure to 25 women per year.
Using several techniques, doctors take mitochondrial DNA from the nucleus (center) of the mother’s diseased egg and transfers it to the nucleus of an egg from a healthy donor. The egg is then fertilized using male sperm from the father.
With this procedure the future baby is produced using bits of DNA from three people — the mother, the donor, and the father.
Because the baby has DNA from three people, genetic problems such as muscular and neurological issues can occur later.
Debates over the moral and ethical issues of three-parent babies continue. critics liken the procedure to creating a Frankenstein monster.
The three-parent procedure has been performed in Mexico, but it is banned in the United States.
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