World’s first baby born with controversial new ‘three-parent’ technique
Medical science have evolved tremendously over the last decades with some mind blowing discoveries as a result of continuous research. However, this very research will tame most of ‘more zealous critics’ and hopefully we will witness soon a birth of the first mitochondrial donation baby in the UK’
The birth of a baby using a new ‘three-parent baby’ technique in Mexico could speed the creation of a similar child in the UK New Hope Fertility Centre
The world’s first child created using a controversial “three-parent” baby technique has been born in Mexico, it has been announced.
Limited details about the birth were revealed ahead of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine's scientific congress in Salt Lake City this month, where it will be discussed more fully.
According to critics, the procedure is tantamount to genetic modification of humans or even “playing God”. But supporters say it allows women with a particular type of genetic disease to have healthy children who are related to them.
A report in the New Scientist magazine said the baby was now five months told. His parents are Jordanians and the work was carried out by a team of experts from the US.
The child’s mother has Leigh syndrome, a fatal disorder that affects the developing nervous system and would have been passed on in her mitochondrial DNA.
Although she is healthy, two of her children have died as a result of inheriting the disease: a girl who lived until she was six and an eight-month-old baby.
There are different ways of creating a so-called three-parent baby.
The technique used by Dr John Zhang, of the New Hope Fertility Clinic in New York, and his team involved taking the nucleus from one of the mother's eggs – containing her DNA – and implanting it into a donor egg that had its nucleus removed but retained the donor’s healthy mitochondrial DNA.
Unlike ordinary DNA, which has the genetic information that helps make us who we are, mitochondrial DNA provides power for the cell and has been compared to a battery. Many scientists in the field insist the term “three-parent baby” is inaccurate for this reason as the significant DNA is still from two people.
Dr Zhang told the New Scientist that, as the technique has not been approved in the US, the team went to Mexico where “there are no rules”.
“To save lives is the ethical thing to do,” he added.
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