Medical dilemma of ‘three-parent babies’: Fertility clinic investigates health of 17 teenagers it helped to be conceived through controversial IVF technique

From Great Britain comes a story in The Independent written by Steve Conner, who discusses the case of “three-parent babies”, where he notes that seventeen teenagers have found that conception through the controversial in vitro fertilization (IVF) method had worked.  Cooner said that the children were born over 15 years ago, or in 1999.

In 2001, scientists in the U.S. announced there had been no further work on this project and there had been no follow-up on the seventeen children to find out whether they had developed any long-term health problems as a result.  The U.S. government shut down the project in 2002, approximately three years after the children were born without follow-up data.

About 30 IVF babies worldwide are believed to have been born by the technique, known as “cytoplasmic transfer” method.  But the British government has said now it intends to introduce legislation to allow donor eggs to be used as a way of ensuring that women with mitochondrial defects do not pass on the mutations to their children.

Like cytoplasmic transfer, it will result in IVF babies with genetic material from three people – the woman who donated the egg and the child’s two biological parents.

Steve Conner has the story.
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