Scientists Create Embryo With DNA From Three Parents

Posted Feb 6, 2008 by Angelique van Engelen
Women suffering from hereditary diseases might be able to produce babies that won’t suffer from the same disease soon. Scientists in the UK have succeeded at creating an embryo made of the DNA of three parents.
The embryo was created with the gene of one man and two women. The triple parented embryo is a breakthrough in the battle to eliminate hereditary diseases. The team of scientists at Newcastle University believe they have good chances to eliminate diseases such as epilepsy.
The technology has been specifically developed to aid women with genetic defects tot their ‘mitochondria’ (deeply embedded inner cell structures which function like energisers of cells).
Defects of the mitochondrial DNA are the cause of some 50 known diseases including liver failure, apoplexia, blindness, deafness and diabetes.
Around one in 6,500 people suffers from one of these –sometimes fatal- diseases. The scientists discovered that the mitochondrial DNA of a woman suffering from such a hereditary disease can be replaced by the mitochondrial DNA of a healthy woman.