World to get first 3-parent baby by 2016

LONDON: The world’s first three parent baby is all set to arrive as early as 2016. The UK has become the first country to approve laws to allow the creation of babies from three people. The House of Lords gave its backing to the idea with peers voting in favour of it by 280 votes to 48.

The House of Commons had already voted in favour earlier with 382 MPs for while 128 against the technique that stops genetic diseases being passed from mother to child.

The technique enables a couple to use mitochondria donated by another woman in cases where the mother carries inherited mitochondrial diseases which can be fatal. Mitochondria provide human cells with their power and the procedure has been compared to changing a car battery.

Health minister Earl Howe said it would be “cruel and perverse” to deny couples the chance of having healthy children.

Alastair Kent, director of the Genetic Alliance UK charity which helps people with inherited conditions, said the Lords vote was “a triumph that gives hope to families”. The fertility regulator will now decide how to license the procedure. In the House of Lords debate, Howe said there was an opportunity to offer “real hope” to families.

The process is currently illegal throughout the world. The technique was pioneered by researchers in Newcastle, and the first of the procedures will be carried out in that city.

The new regulations would likely keep such conceptions down to just 10 zygotes each year.

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