UK Passes Bill To Approve Three-Parent Children

Isabelle Kaneza

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On February 3, the United Kingdom’s House of Commons passed a new bill that allows In Vitro “in glass” Fertilization (IVF) treatment to prevent parents from passing down mitochondrial diseases to their children, the first country in the world to do so.

During this process, the embryos of two mothers are modified then fertilized by the father. In this modification, the defective aspects of the original mother’s embryo are replaced by the healthy ones of a donor. Because alterations are only made to the mitochondria,

“Less than a tenth of one percent of the genome is actually going to be affected,”

Dr. Gillian Lockwood, spokesperson for the British Fertility Society, tells BBC. “It doesn’t affect height, eye colour, intelligence, musicality.”IVF has the power to prevent muscle weakness, cardiac disease, diabetes, seizures, and other symptoms caused by damaged brain cells.

However, not everyone has been praising this new milestone for the world of science. Religious groups oppose this passing of the bill because embryos are killed in the process.

Fiona Bruce, a member of the British Parliament, argues,

“Once the gene is out of the bottle, once these procedures that we’re asked to authorize today go ahead, there will be no going back for society.”

Nevertheless, the bill is being sent to the House of Lords so it may officially become law.

By: Isabelle Kaneza