The UK government has backed three-person IVF, i.e. creating babies using DNA from three people. The UK government said the procedure will probably be available in 2015 after draft regulations have been produced.

1 in every 6,500 babies inherits defective mitochondriaheart disease

using mitochondria from a donor egg could be one way of preventing mitochondrial diseases

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority launched a public consultation on the ethics of using DNA from three “parents”

In the UK, carrying out mitochondrial replacement in the laboratory is legal, but embryos must not be used in treatment.

“Medical frontiers: debating mitochondria replacement”

  • Only clinics licensed by HFEA should be allowed to offer mitochondria replacement

  • Each mitochondria replacement proposal should be approved by HFEA. However, “Regulations should provide the flexibility to modify this in the future”.

  • IVF clinics must make sure that follow-up research is done on each child born.

  • Mitochondria donors, like tissue donors have the right to anonymity. The resulting child should not have the right to track down the donor “although information exchange and contact could be arranged locally by mutual consent.”

  • “A further assessment of the safety and efficacy should be commissioned by the HFEA once a clinic has submitted an application to carry out one of the techniques. This follows advice from an expert scientific panel that there is no evidence to suggest that mitochondria replacement is unsafe, but that further specific experiments should be conducted.”


20,000 genes come from the mother and father and 37 mitochondrial genes from the donor

HFEA responded to some of Professor King’s allegations

In all the other public engagement strands a majority of respondents and participants supported the use of mitochondria replacement

encouraging news for families affected by mitochondrial DNA disease

Professor Doug Turnbull talks about mitochondrial disease