Britain is set to be the first country in the world to allow the controversial procedure of mitochondrial donation – as MP’s vote 382-128 in favour.
The new procedure, which is intended to prevent children inheriting potentially life threatening diseases from their mother, would involve the usual nuclear DNA from the parents, plus a small amount of healthy mitochondrial DNA from a healthy female donor.
In effect, children born through these means would receive DNA from 3 parents.
Those in favour of the new technique point out that it will allow mothers who carry faulty mitochondria to have healthy children free from devastating and often deadly conditions. Also, since the mitochondrial DNA represents less than 0.054 per cent of the total DNA, children would not inherit any personal characteristics or traits from their donor, e.g. eye colour, personality etc.
However, other notable scientists and doctors against the legalising this procedure, point out the potential dangers of genetically modifying humans – and the unknown risks to future generations.