UK first sees baby born using three people’s DNA

A child's arm on a soft balnket

Six-month-old dies falling from mother’s bed Credit: TanteTati/

The fertility regulator has reported in a UK first that a baby has been born using the DNA of three people.

The majority of the DNA comes from the baby’s parents, but around 0.1 per cent has come from a donor woman.

The technique has been used to try and prevent children from being born with mitochondrial disease.

Mitochondrial disease is fatal and results in the death of a baby within hours or days of birth. Every body cell contains mitochondria responsible for converting food into usable energy. If the mitochondria are defective, they won’t provide fuel, leading to blindness, heart defects, muscle wasting and brain damage.

The cells are passed down from the mother, so by using the mitochondrial from a donor’s healthy egg means the disease should be avoided.

When the mitochondria are donated the resulting children will inherit a tiny part of the donor’s DNA which will be a permanent change and will be passed down through the generations. The technique does not mean any other traits like appearance are affected and it does not mean that the baby has a third parent.

Mitochondria donation was pioneered in Newcastle and laws were passed to enable its use in 2015, but the UK hasn’t used the technique until now.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is saying that “less than five babies” have been born as of the 20th of April 2023.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

Julia Cameron

Julia is an ex-pat writer from Brighton living in a small village close to the Andalucian town of Priego de Cordoba. When she's not working she enjoys reading, tracing her ancestry and swimming. She especially loves the summer when she can get down to the coast and chill on the beach.