Britain is planning to allow a three-parent IVF–using the DNA from three parents to create an embryo.
The U.K. government is allowing the technique to avoid mitochondrial diseases inherited from the mother’s side, according to AFP. It would also replace unhealthy DNA with healthy DNA from the “third parent,” according to the news agency.
“It’s only right that we look to introduce this life-saving treatment as soon as we can,” Sally Davies, the chief medical officer in the country, told the news agency.
Mitochondrial problems include liver failure, blindness, muscular dystrophy, and brain disorders.
The methods, reported Reuters, are still only in the research stage in British and U.S. labs.
Critics of the method have said it is ethically problematic and would create a “designer baby” market, according to Reuters.
David King, director of the Human Genetics Alert campaign group, told the agency: “They cross the ethical line that has been agreed by government around the world that we should not genetically alter human beings.”