'Three-Parent' IVF Could Give Hope To Mums With Hereditary Diseases

20/01/2012 12:48 | Updated 22 May 2015
Could three-parent IVF wipe out hereditary disease?PA

Three-parent IVF could put a stop to many hereditary diseases in the womb, medics have claimed.

The controversial new gene replacement procedure would allow parents to have babies without the risk of passing on deadly diseases.

Experts say the pioneering techniques could be possible within a generation, although the Government will have to pass a bill allowing the treatment.

If it gets the go-ahead, nucleus from a mum known to have an hereditary condition would be swapped with that of a healthy woman, eradicating the problematic DNA which carries the disease.

The egg would be implanted in the mother's womb, resulting in a baby free from genetic illness.

Opponents of the procedure say the resulting baby will have two mums, but medics insist the foetus would only have a minuscule amount of DNA from the 'third parent'.

Newcastle University will now further develop the techniques, having been given £4.4million by the Wellcome Trust research body to set up a centre to investigate its safety.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has also asked the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to canvas public opinion ahead of a Parliamentary go-ahead.

Professor Doug Turnbull from the research centre in Newcastle told reporters: "We believe there is a clear benefit here. The science has moved along but the treatment hasn't moved at the same pace."

What do you think? Would this result in babies with three parents? Or should such treatments be welcomed as amazing medical advances?

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