Intended for healthcare professionals


Draft UK regulations for mitochondrial donation are published

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 28 February 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1846
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

The UK government is consulting on draft regulations for techniques to prevent the transmission of serious mitochondrial disease from a mother to her child.1

An estimated one in 200 children born each year in the United Kingdom has some form of mitochondrial DNA disorder. These can range from mild and asymptomatic disorders to serious disorders including some types of muscular dystrophy, Leber hereditary optic neuropathy, and Leigh syndrome.

In 2009 the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act was amended to allow mitochondrial donation, but a number of organisations opposed it. The technique is controversial because it combines nuclear DNA from both parents with a tiny amount of mitochondrial DNA from a donor. Some of the concerns raised were …

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