The first three-parent babies could be born by 2015 after the government set out new draft regulations which will allow donor DNA from a second mother to be implanted into a defective egg.
A debate is being held in Westminster about the UK becoming the first country in the world to legalise babies with three biological parents. The controversial IVF technique has never been tried before.
Scientists in Newcastle are pushing for the technique to made legal. But critics say it's completely unethical and would be a step too far for the human race.
Helen Ford reports on one woman who lost seven children to genetic illness, and is in favour of the change:
A controversial technique that could see babies born to three biological parents is being debated at Westminster.
Scientists at Newcastle University want the IVF treatment to be legalised to prevent rare genetic illnesses. But critics say the procedure would be completely unethical.
Colin Hart at The Christian Institute and Professor Doug Turnbull at Newcastle University voice the arguments against and for the treatment:
Scientists and religious groups have clashed over proposals for three-parent IVF, which are being debated in Westminster later today.
"If we're going to allow parents to chose what sort of genes their children have, that's a massive Rubicon and that's such a big Rubicon that in every other country this is not legal."
"This research is about providing women who carry a specific sort of genetic disease reproductive choice. We already have ability for some genetic diseases to select on specific embryos."
A controversial technique that could see babies born to three biological parents is being debated at Westminster later.
Scientists at Newcastle university want the IVF treatment to be legalised to prevent rare genetic illnesses. However, critics say the procedure would be completely unethical.
The parents and brother of one of the two Newcastle University medical students stabbed to death in Malaysia have spoken of their grief.
Jan and Phil Dalton said their son Neil, 22, was a "caring, thoughtful and witty" young man who would never think twice about helping others.
We are just a normal family and we cannot believe what has happened.
He achieved so much and made so many friends in such a short time. We are so very proud of him.
Neil was a hard worker and very academic. He kept himself fit and was very sporty; involving himself in many football and cricket teams over the years. Neil enjoyed cycling and running and was always up for a challenge."
Four men arrested over the murder of two British medical students who were stabbed in Borneo after a row in a bar have admitted the crime.Read the full story ›
Two Newcastle University students have been stabbed to death in Malaysia. The Foreign Office has confirmed that the attacks took place on the Malaysian part of the island of Borneo. The victims are thought to have been medical students. The University says it will release more details later.
"This is incredibly exciting news and has the potential to make a huge difference to the way we treat patients in the future. Sequencing the genome will give us new insights into the way genetic diseases develop. In Newcastle the focus is on rare diseases and while these illnesses may be uncommon, their symptoms have a huge impact on the people who have them and their families. Unlocking the mechanisms involved gives them hope for the future."
Stanley Travel, the bus company that has admitted liability for a crash involving two school buses in County Durham in June has given ITV Tyne Tees a statement, which claims that their driver was unconscious at the time of the collision.
“We are able to confirm that our insurance company has agreed to accept liability following the accident on 3rd June. We are also able to confirm that the driver of our bus blacked out moments before the incident, and the medical evidence strongly suggest the driver was unconscious at the time of collision.
We hope that a speedy settlement will assist the injured passengers in obtaining any additional help and support they require."
The parents of a Newcastle University student who was found dead have described him as a "kind, caring, intelligent and very talented" young man.
The family of James Steen said the 23-year-old's sense of humour had touched everyone he met. He was a student at Newcastle University's School of Arts and Cultures.
Three men are on police bail after being arrested over the unexplained death.
"We have lost our darling son. Words simply can not convey the pain we are currently experiencing.
"James enriched our lives, and the lives of others, in so many ways.
"He was a kind, caring, intelligent and very talented young man, with a generous spirit. He touched everyone he met with his positivity and his sense of humour."
"We are devastated by James' untimely death, but we are comforted by knowing how much he was loved and admired by his family, friends and university colleagues. We are immensely proud of our son, and all he achieved and the significant mark he made during his brief time on this earth.
"As we come to terms with our loss, we would ask the media to respect our need for privacy at this difficult time."