Scientists striving to create a three-parent baby have discovered that mutated DNA can in fact be passed down to the child during the innovative procedure.
University of Newcastle scientists had been experimenting with the process to see if replacing an egg’s disease-prone mitochondrial DNA with that of a healthy female donor could head off inherited conditions such as muscular dystrophy
Parliament has allowed the process to go ahead, but further tests have been called for by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).
On Wednesday, scientists announced that despite some successes with the process, there was a risk of up to four percent of mutated, disease-causing DNA carrying over.
Tests on a number of embryos showed that in one case the DNA grew to illness-inducing levels over a period of time.
Newcastle University’s Professor Mary Herbert told the Telegraph: “We don’t know what it means for development, but it’s alerted us to the fact that we really need to work hard to get as close to zero carry-over as we can.”
“It sounds a note of caution for us,” she added.
Would you pay less for a humanities degree?