3 in 1: baby born with DNA from 3 parents might sound like a statement extracted from a SCI-FI novel or movie but in fact, it is 100% real and it is, in fact, a modern medical procedure of fertilization.
The procedure was designed to allow women who carry genes for certain mitochondrial diseases, which are hereditary and incurable, to have children without exposing them to any risk. It seems that, worldwide, 1 in 6,500 children have a form of mitochondrial disease, which can only be transmitted from mother to child, according to The Atlantic.
In the world, the UK has been the first country that approved an amendment of certain laws to allow fertility clinics to carry out this new in-vitro fertilization procedure that will result in the birth of babies with DNA coming from three sources but the US doctors were the ones who have made the first definitive step and have brought to the world the first child born through such a method.
3 in 1: baby born with DNA from 3 parents in Mexico
The first baby born with DNA from three parents was born in Mexico. American scientists had to cross the border to carry out the controversial technique, according to a report published in the New Scientist. The method allows people with rare genetic mutations to have children.
The couple, originally from Jordan, tried for 20 years to have a baby, but the woman was suffering from the Leigh syndrome, a fatal disorder that affects the development of the nervous system and is transmitted by the mother to her babies.
The two have called for the help of the physician John Zhang and his team at the New Hope Fertility Center, in New York.
Zhang has developed a way to avoid mitochondrial disease using the technique of ‘DNA from three parents’. The method, which was approved in the UK, is called pronuclear transfer and involves the fertilization of both the mother’s ovum and that from a donor with the father’s sperm.
Before the fertilized egg starts dividing into embryos, each nucleus is separated. The ovary of the donor is removed, being replaced by that of the mother. This technique was not, however, agreed with the couple because the two are Muslims and opposed the destruction of the two embryos.
Therefore, Zhang approached a different, controversial procedure. He extracted the nucleus from the mother’s ovum and inserted it into the donor’s ovary from which the nucleus was removed. The resulting ovum, with nuclear DNA from the mother and mitochondrial DNA from the donor, was later fertilized with the father’s sperm.
Zhang’s team used this technique to create five embryos, of which the only one developed normally. It was implanted in the mother’s body, which, after nine months, gave birth to the first baby with DNA from 3 parents.
Zhang said that he chose Mexico for this procedure because ‘there are no rules’. The specialist also said he was convinced he had made an ‘ethical choice to save lives’.
3 in 1: baby born with DNA from 3 parents in Ukraine
A baby with infertile parents recently came to the world in Ukraine by this new in-vitro fertilization method, using DNA from 3 parents.
If the baby from the above was the first in the world, this Ukrainian baby was the first baby born with DNA from 3 parents in Europe.
The baby in Ukraine came to the world on January 5th, 2017. A team of doctors in Kiev fertilized the mother’s egg with the sperm from her partner, then transferred everything to a donor’s, emptied of the kernel.
The child has the genes of the two parents, but also a small part of the DNA of another woman who was the donor.
The technique called pronuclear transfer is primarily meant to help women who have a maternal genetic disorder not to pass it on to the baby but in this case, however, the technique was used to give a baby to an infertile couple.
In March 2017, another case of ‘3 in 1 baby born with DNA from 3 parents’ has been successfully recorded. This technique seems to win ground worldwide, and the genetics medical evolution will bring more and more novelties to the fertilization and genes manipulation domain.
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