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Scientists from Newcastle University have developed a "pioneering technique" to tackle inherited illnesses.

Currently, around one in every 200 children is born with some form of health problem due to mutations in the DNA of the mother's mitochondria.

However, this new procedure involves taking healthy mitochondrial DNA from a donor egg and using it to replace the mutated substance in the mother's egg.

"This is a very exciting development with immense potential to help families at risk from mitochondrial diseases," Professor Doug Turnbull, who led the research along with Dr Mary Herbert, commented.

He added: "We have no way of curing these diseases at the moment, but this technique could allow us to prevent the diseases occurring in the first place. It is important that we do all we can to help these families and give them the chance to have healthy children, something most of us take for granted."

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