Seth Wenig / AP
The U.K. has become the first country to officially greenlight a license that allows scientists to make babies using DNA from three people, reports the Chicago Tribune. The procedure is meant to prevent women from passing on potentially fatal genetic diseases to their children
The license was granted Thursday to scientists from Britain's Newcastle University that have been working on a procedure that swaps out the risky parts of a mother's DNA with a donor's healthy DNA. The resulting embryo is a mix of DNA from both women as well as from the father.
Last year, U.S.-based doctors announced they had created the world's first baby using the techniques, although the procedure was performed in Mexico since it hasn't been approved in the States. Meanwhile, critics argue that the treatment may be too risky. It also marks the first step toward what many people consider the unethical creation of "designer babies."