For the first time in the UK, a baby was created utilizing three people’s DNA.
The majority of the child’s DNA came from its two parents, but 0.1% came from a third person, another lady.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) stated that “less than five” kids were born in the UK in this manner, but no further information was disclosed to safeguard their identities.
The scientific method is intended to prevent children from being born with potentially fatal mitochondrial illnesses.
These are long-term, hereditary, and frequently inherited illnesses that develop when mitochondria fail to perform their duty of generating energy for the body’s cells.
These infections are generally deadly and can be lethal.
In children, symptoms can include poor growth, poor muscle tone, weakness, failure to thrive, spasms, and a slow-down in progress or slow deterioration.
Some families have lost several children to inherited mitochondrial diseases and the new technique, mitochondrial donation treatment which is a modified form of IVF.
This is seen as their only chance of having a healthy child.
The DNA from the second woman only affects the mitochondria, and did not affect other key traits in the child such as appearance.
The latest findings were first reported by the Guardian following a freedom of information request.
Britain became the first country in the world to formally allow mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT) when the HFEA gave a cautious green light to the procedure in 2017.
In 2018, fertility doctors at the Newcastle Fertility Centre at Life were given permission by HFEA to give two women the treatment.
Peter Thompson, chief executive of the HFEA, said: “Mitochondrial donation treatment offers families with severe inherited mitochondrial illness the possibility of a healthy child.
He added: “The UK was the first country in the world to allow mitochondrial donation treatment within a regulatory environment.
“The HFEA oversees a robust framework that ensures that mitochondrial donation is provided in a safe and ethical manner.
“All applications for treatment are assessed on an individual basis against the tests set out in the law and only after independent advice from experts.
“These are still early days for mitochondrial donation treatment and the HFEA continues to review clinical and scientific developments.”
Sarah Norcross, director of the Progress Education Trust, said UK laws relating to the treatment were “passed only after many years of careful research, assessment and deliberation”.
She added: “Even then, it was decided that the use of this technology will be permitted by the regulator only on a case-by-case basis.
“This measured approach was and is appropriate, given the relative novelty of this technology.
“News that a small number of babies with donated mitochondria have now been born in the UK is the next step in what will probably remain a slow and cautious process of assessing and refining mitochondrial donation.”