The United Kingdom has now approved the use of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to create babies with DNA from three different people, making it the first country in the world to legally offer "three-parent baby” fertility treatments.

So, what is the objective of creating a baby with three sets of DNA? This process would allow women who carry disease-causing mutations within their mitochondrial genes to birth genetically-related children without the risk of passing on these ailments. The controversial treatment requires that the embryo receive the usual "nuclear" DNA from the mother and father, plus a small amount of healthy mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) from a female donor, Medical Xpress reported.

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Mitochondrial diseases cause symptoms including poor vision, diabetes, muscle wasting, and more, Medical XPress reported. Health officials in the UK have estimated that around 125 babies are born with the mutations in Britain each year.

The first women could receive the treatment as early as March or April in the UK.

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"We are delighted by today's decision," said Doug Turnbull, director of the Welcome Center for Mitochondrial Research at Newcastle University, according to Medical XPress. "In Newcastle, we will be aiming to treat up to 25 carefully selected patients a year with the mitochondrial donation technique."

IVF has been a miraculous treatment for countless couples who were previously unable to conceive since its first success in 1978. However, DNA swapping is significantly more complicated.

In Mexico, there are currently no regulations on the use of mitochondrial donation, so a procedure was performed in that country this year which resulted in the world’s first baby being conceived using a technique called spindle nuclear transfer. Other procedures have been performed in the past, but success has been fleeting, and some versions have been banned in certain countries because of their potential health risks, Medical Daily previously reported.

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