No, this is not science fiction. The British Parliament approved a procedure that would permit a new procedure that would allow children to use DNA from 3 parents rather than 2. Here’s why:
That insight is why MPs were right to agree, on February 3rd, that Britain should become the first country to allow the creation of children with genetic material from three people instead of the usual two (see article).
By doing so, they hope to relieve terrible suffering. Faults with mitochondria—the tiny power sources inside cells—afflict about one child in 6,500, or 100 a year in Britain. The many conditions that result, a lot of them agonising and fatal, have no cure. So scientists hope to prevent them at conception, by transferring the healthy nucleus of an egg cell with damaged mitochondria into the body of an egg with functioning ones.
After the House of Commons voted to allow UK clinicians to perform “mitochondrial donation”— a form of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) designed to ensure that…children [with seriously damaged mitochondria] can be born free of the condition.–the UK is the first to allow kids to have DNA from 3 parents. This may should like an episode of Orphan Black, but dispite the “strangeness” of the procedure, helping sick kids is what matters most.