Children whose genes have been modified to prevent certain hereditary diseases will be born soon, scientists have predicted. A child with three genetic parents could be born within the next three years. Already a team of scientists from Newcastle University have successfully created embryos containing DNA from one man and two women.
Under the current law, these embryos must be destroyed after fourteen days. However, new measures in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill recently passed in Parliament mean these embryos could soon be allowed to develop into children.
The technique aims to prevent certain hereditary diseases being passed from mother to child. These diseases are carried in faulty DNA in the outer section of the mother’s egg, and can be replaced with healthy DNA from a second woman.
The scientist leading the research, Prof. Doug Turnbull, quoted by The Christian Institute, said: ‘Over the next two or three years we are hoping to make significant progress on this, because we want to offer hope to mothers who have this fault in their mitochondria as soon as possible’.
Campaigners have warned that the physical and psychological implications for a child born with DNA from three parents are unknown and may only become apparent in subsequent generations.