Scientists are a step closer to producing genetically-modified babies after a team of scientists from Newcastle University has successfully created embryos with three genetic parents.
Using embryos left over from fertility treatment, the scientists claim they were able to transplant the nucleus from one fertilised egg to an egg from another woman that had already had its nucleus removed.
They created ten such embryos, containing DNA from both original parents as well as the egg-donating mother. The embryos were allowed to develop for 6 days before being destroyed.
Scientists want to perfect the method so that mothers can avoid the transmission of some hereditary diseases to their child.
However, others say that the technique may introduce new and unforeseen genetic problems. They also raise concerns about the potential psychological damage to a child born to three genetic parents.
Referring to the embryos used in researching this procedure, pro-life campaigner Josephine Quintavalle said: “It is human beings that they are experimenting on.”