The mitochondria of the cell are crucial for life; they generate power. These organelles also carry their own genetic material, which is only inherited from mom. When that material is faulty and is passed down, it can cause very severe, life-threatening disorders.
Genetic techniques have been created that allow researchers to provide babies developing under those conditions with healthy mitochondrial DNA from a donor. That third party genetic material is why the technique results in what’s been called a ‘3 person baby.’
Now, researchers in the UK have used this technique for the first time. This video, which features Professor Sir Doug Turnbull from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research at the University of Newcastle, has more information.