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Mexican clinic plans 20 three-parent babies in 2017

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PHOTO: THE SCIENCE

PHOTO: THE SCIENCE

• Controversial technique could help create ‘disease-free’ children
• First baby was born in April this year using IVF method

The first baby to be born using a controversial three-parent In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) technique could soon be joined by a number of other lab-created infants conceived through the same method.

Earlier this year, a healthy boy was born after being conceived using Deoxy ribonucleic Acid (DNA)/genetic material from three people in an effort to avoid a debilitating genetic disease.

But the fertility clinic in Mexico which carried out the procedure says it plans to conceive a further 20 babies using the technique in the first half of 2017.

The first child to be conceived using the controversial technique was a boy born to Jordanian parents earlier this year.

By incorporating a small amount of donor DNA into his cells, the parents have avoided passing on a debilitating genetic condition to their son.

The genetic defect is carried in the energy-producing units inside cells, called mitochondria.

Unpublished test results of the boy, who is now eight months old, indicate he is healthy and has no sign of the genetic disease carried by his parents.

The levels of mutant mitochondria are low, around three or four per cent, with experts claiming the defective mitochondria will remain at acceptable levels.


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