Britain becomes first nation to legalize three-parent babies

By REUTERS
February 24, 2015 22:54

LONDON - Britain will become the first nation to legalize a "three-parent" IVF technique which doctors say can prevent inherited incurable diseases but which critics fear will lead to "designer babies".

After more than three hours of debate, lawmakers in parliament's upper house voted on Tuesday for a change in the law to allow the treatments, echoing a positive vote in the lower house earlier this month.

The treatment, called mitochondrial transfer, is known as "three-parent" in vitro fertilisation (IVF) because the babies, born from genetically modified embryos, would have DNA from a mother, a father and from a female donor.

It is designed to help families with mitochondrial diseases, incurable conditions passed down the maternal line that affect around one in 6,500 children worldwide.


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