(CNN) – U.K. scientists have been given the go-ahead to carry out a treatment that will make it possible for babies to be made from three parents.
A new and unusual fertility treatment was approved by U.K. regulators in December of 2016, which will make it possible for an embryo to be created from two women and a man.
Now, a clinic at Newcastle University has been licensed to try it.
It’s called mitochondrial donation. It’s an in vitro fertilization technique that involves replacing faulty mitochondria inherited from the mother with the healthy mitochondria of another woman. If a mother’s mitochondrial DNA is faulty, it is possible that she could pass on a number of rare but serious diseases, including muscle weakness, diabetes, heart problems, epilepsy and stroke-like episodes.
Between about one and four-thousand children are born with a mitochondrial disease every year in the U.S.
Researchers hope this new technique will keep children from being born with fatal genetic diseases carried by the mother.
The facility at Newcastle University will still need to apply to conduct the process on a case-by-case basis.
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