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MPs made history today by voting to legalise a new fertilisation technique that creates so called 'three-parent babies'.
The technique allows genetic material donated by a third person to be used to eliminate life-threatening conditions in new babies.
If the amendment passes the House of Lords, Britain would be the first country in the world to allow the ground-breaking technique.
ITV News' Health Editor Rachel Younger reports:
The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has reiterated its opposition to mitochondrial donation after the vote.
Bishop John Sherrington, speaking for the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, said:
Josephine Quintavalle, from the pro-life group Comment on Reproductive Ethics (Core), released this statement on what she called a "sad, sad day for both science and ethics":
About two-thirds of the 128 MPs who voted against new regulations to allow mitochondrial donation are from the Conservative Party.
The breakdown of votes against the amendment was as follows:
- 81 from the Conservative Party
- 31 from Labour
- 5 from the Liberal Democrat party
- A handful from Ukip, SNP, SDLP and one independent MP
The Government's chief medical officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, has said she is "delighted" that MPs passed the amendment and that she hopes the Lords will do the same.
She said: "Mitochondrial donation will give women who carry severe mitochondrial disease the opportunity to have children without passing on devastating genetic disorders.
"It will also keep the UK at the forefront of scientific development in this area," Dame Sally added.
A spokesman for the Wellcome Trust has said that the first child conceived using a mitochondrial donation could be born before the end of 2016.
He said the amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act could pass the House of Lords in a "couple of weeks". Several experiments must take place before the terms of application for a licence are set.
"Our estimate is that the first licence will be applied for in November this year, and the first baby might be born in 2016," he added.
Robert Meadowcroft, chief executive of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, which supports families affected by mitochondrial disease, welcomed today's vote in the House of Commons:
Speaking after MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of allowing a "three-person" IVF technique, Dr Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, said:
Britain has become the first country in the world to allow the creation of babies with DNA from three different people after MPs overwhelmingly backed new legislation.
MPs voted in favour of mitochondrial donation techniques by 382 to 128 in the historic Commons vote.
Doctors say the treatment will mark a major step forward in preventing inherited diseases by allowing faulty DNA to be replaced.
But opponents argue that it could lead to so-called "designer babies" being created.
Latest ITV News reports
MPs have voted in favour of a ground-breaking but controversial technique that could see IVF babies conceived with DNA from three people.
A vote on three-parent babies, taking place today, could determine paediatric nurse Rachel Steel's chances of having her own healthy kids.