Government gives the go ahead for mitochondrial donation during IVF
BMJ 2014; 2014;349:g4801
Ingrid Torjesen


Short description:
The UK government will push ahead with plans to allow mitochondrial donation during in vitro fertilisation (IVF) where the child will be at risk of inheriting a serious mitochondrial disorder. The decision came after a public consultation1 and a safety and efficacy assessment, and the next step will be to lay the regulations permitting the procedure before parliament.
Around 1 in 6500 children born in the United Kingdom has a serious mitochondrial disorder, which can include some types of muscular dystrophy, Leber hereditary optic neuropathy, and Leigh syndrome.
Mitochondrial DNA is inherited solely through the maternal line. The technique of mitochondrial transfer is controversial because it combines nuclear DNA from both parents with a tiny amount of mitochondrial DNA in a donor egg to create what has been dubbed a "three parent baby." As a result, the baby will not carry its mother's mitochondria that have the DNA for the mitochondrial condition.
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