Babies Of The Future Could Have Three Genetic Parents

by Holly Trantham

A new law has been passed in the U.K. that will allow for the ‘creation’ of a child using the DNA of three people. Yep, that is one more than usual. No, this is not your worst nightmare designer baby science fiction moment—it’s actually a way that kids might avoid inheriting potentially-deadly genetic disorders.

Here’s how it would work: The mother’s nuclear DNA is implanted into a donor egg that has healthy mitochondria, which is then fertilized by the father’s sperm, and then implanted in the mother. The resulting kiddo would be mostly a biologic product of the mother and father; the donor only comes into play on the healthy mitochondria front. The goal is to help women with severe mitochondrial diseases like epilepsy to have healthy kids.

The U.K. will eventually be able to pass research on the procedure along to other countries, and the results could effectively eradicate genetic diseases, one child at a time. And while we can definitely see Gattaca-like implications for this kind of genetic tinkering, in this case, we’re on board. 

Image c/o Bloomberg

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