Experts Weigh 3-Parent Test Tube Babies

Third donor could make for healthier babies
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Mar 14, 2011 2:04 AM CDT
Who's your daddy?   (AP Photo/Advanced Cell Technology)

(Newser) – British authorities are considering approval for "three parent" test-tube babies to mix and match the best DNA for a healthier children. An expert panel of scientists has been asked to consider the safety and effectiveness of such a procedure, and advise government watchdogs. Babies resulting from the new process would have nearly 100% of the genetic material from two parents, but would also have mitochondrial DNA from a third donor for parents at risk of having offspring affected by mitochondrial diseases. Such diseases can cause fatal liver, heart, and neurological disorders.

The technique currently does not exist, but the "science is progressing rapidly" requiring some kind of policy now, a reproductive medicine expert tells the Telegraph. "We anticipate that the process of review could take about a year so we are asking for this process to start now," she said. A spokesman for the Department of Health said the government "welcomes scientific innovation, and this group will investigate the safety of this technique and report back to us."

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