Britain set to allow babies to be born with 3 genetic parents

London: Britain is set to become the world`s first nation to allow babies to be born with three genetic parents.

A landmark decision by the Department of Health opens the door to treatments for diseases that make use of donated DNA from a second donor "mum".

New regulations to fertility law allowing the procedures will be issued for public consultation later this year and then debated in Parliament, the Mirror reported.

If MPs find them ethically acceptable the first patients could be treated within months.

Around 10 "three parent" babies could be born every year.

Allowing the currently illegal techniques would mark a turning point because it means altering the "germ line" made up of inherited DNA.

Experts say only the tiny amount of DNA in a cell`s "battery packs" - the mitochondria - would be changed.

The new techniques result in defective mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) being replaced by a healthy version supplied by a female donor - the second donor "mum".

The move is controversial due to fears over genetic -engineering, but supporters claim only a tiny bit of DNA would be changed.