What they say could pave the way to a landmark change in the law as early as next year that would affect future generations.
The controversy surrounds “uncharted territory” techniques aimed at preventing a special category of diseases caused by inherited genes.
They involve children being conceived with the help of a third genetic “parent” – a woman whose donated egg provides a source of replacement healthy DNA. A baby created this way would have a full compliment of nuclear DNA from its mother and father, plus a tiny amount of donated mitochondrial DNA.
Critics say it’s wrong to tamper with the sanctity of life and consequences for future generations are uncertain
A law change would allow for children to be ‘designed’ to be free of horrific diseases that can kill within hours of birth.
The children would effectively have two mothers and one father.
World’s first GM babies born
The disclosure that 30 healthy babies were born after a series of experiments in the United States provoked another furious debate about ethics.
So far, two of the babies have been tested and have been found to contain genes from three ‘parents’.
Altering the human germline – in effect tinkering with the very make-up of our species – is a technique shunned by the vast majority of the world’s scientists.