Friday, August 19

Tag: fertility

What’s the Deal With…three-person babies?
Science & Technology

What’s the Deal With…three-person babies?

Thought your family was complicated? Try having three parents. The news broke this week that a woman in the Ukraine gave birth to a healthy baby girl conceived using the genetic information from three people. This novel IVF technique was recently approved for medical use in the UK, but how can this all be possible and why would we even bother in the first place? The key players in all of this are mitochondria. These organelles are small (on average only 0.002mm in length) but mighty and, to reference the classic line taught at GCSE biology, 'the powerhouses of the cell'. This means they supply energy to nearly all body cells and have a key role in other processes like programmed cell death or 'apoptosis'. Unfortunately, for around 1 in 5000 babies in the UK every year, genetic mutati...