‘Three-people IVF’ technique that can prevent babies from being born with life-threatening genetic disorders could be soon legal in Australia.
A group of Australian politicians has recommended that government should consult public and scientific experts about permitting the clinical use of this reproductive technology.
The technique helps women to avoid passing genetic defects due to mutations in mitochondria to their children. An embryo with the nuclear DNA of two people and the mitochondria DNA of third is created using a healthy donor egg and is then implanted using in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Currently, United Kingdom is the only country to allow the use of this technique but no babies have been born using this technique yet. Singapore is also planning to legalize the use of this technique.
Mitochondrial disease, a disorder that occurs due to malfunction of structures that produce energy for a cell, affects one in 500 children and 12 in every 100,000 adults. Symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening, affecting many body systems like the central nervous system, heart, endocrine, etc.