June 28, 2013
'Three-parent IVF' Could First Arrive In The UK

According to news, the UK could be the first country allowed to research into three-parent IVF treatment.

The very controversial news that this technique has been backed by fertility watchdogs would mean that DNA from two women and one man would be used. This is so that scientists can try and help overcome deadly, incurable diseases.

Furthermore, although there will be a mix of three sets of DNA, babies conceived would inherit the majority of genes from their "real parents"; apparently only two percent would come from the egg donor.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, which has deemed the research as "potentially useful", has also stated that more testing will be needed before the treatment is properly used.

In making such a big decision, the HFEA want to make sure that the three-parent IVF treatment is safe:

"Although optimistic about the potential, the panel recommends a cautious approach. It advises that research is carried out before the techniques can be considered safe and effective."

Despite all the reassurance and insistence that the three-parent technique would not alter babies personalities or looks, critics of the decision to allow the treatment are horrified that the HFEA have given their approval.

Furthermore, although the treatment could help eliminate serious issues caused by the mother's DNA, such as brain, liver and heart diseases, critics still feel that the three-parent process is "meddling with the building blocks of life."

This isn't the first, nor the last time, IVF will feature in the news; it wasn't too long ago that the news that older mothers undergoing IVF treatment had increased the likelihood incurring birth defects.

Though there has been positive news as well, such as the study that has stated that IVF doesn't appear to be linked to an increased cancer risk.

However, regardless of good or bad news, when you consider that over 200 UK babies are born with life altering conditions, you can begin to understand why doctors are so keen to move forward with this line of treatment..

With numbers like that there is no wonder that the UK has started to make those first steps towards three-parent IVF; however, before it can be introduced, official legal and ethical reviews need to be carried out. In any case, here's a helpful picture to explain the whole process:

'Three-parent IVF' Could First Arrive In The UK

 

[Image via Shutterstock]