Britain’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) Thursday announced that British first licence for “three-parent baby” mitochondrial donation treatment has been granted to a clinic in Newcastle.

The HFEA has approved the first application by doctors in Newcastle for the use of mitochondrial donation to treat patients. In this case, a woman will receive this therapy.

Mitochondria are the powerhouses that provide people with energy and are present in almost every cell in the body. If the mother’s mitochondrial DNA is faulty, then it is possible that the mother may pass to her children one of a number of rare but very serious mitochondrial diseases, such as muscle, cardiac and neural diseases.

The pronuclei transfer technique removes the egg and sperm pronuclei (the nuclear DNA) from a fertilized egg and inserting it into an embryo which has had its nuclear DNA removed. This results in an embryo containing nuclear DNA from the mother and father and mitochondrial DNA from the egg donor, which is why it is also known as the “three-person baby” technique.

According to regulation, the use of this controversial technique has to be approved by the HFEA case by case.

Many years of research have led to the development of pronuclear transfer as a treatment to reduce the risk of mothers transmitting disease to their children, said Professor Mary Herbert at the Newcastle University.

“It’s a great testament to the regulatory system here in the UK that research innovation can be applied in treatment to help families affected by these devastating diseases,” Herbert also said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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