A five-month-old baby contains DNA from three parents has just been revealed.
The 3-Parent technique which was just legalized last year in the UK allowed parents with genetic mutations to have babies with no diseases or disorders. It involves replacing the biological mother’s faulty mitochondria with another woman’s mitochondria during the IVF process.
For women with mitochondrial disease, this is the best way to have children disease-free.
However, there is still a ban
for the 3-parent technique in the US, which is why the process is still deemed controversial.
The five-month-old baby was born to Jordanian parents with the help of a US-based team in Mexico. The baby boy’s mother has Leigh syndrome which is a nervous system disorder which is considered to be fatal and can be passed down through mitochondrial DNA.
Eventhough the baby’s mother may be healthy, still, a quarter of her mitochondria carries faulty Leigh syndrome
genes. This resulted to her only two children dying from the condition. The devastating effect turned her to ask help from John Zhang at New York’s New Hope Fertility Centre
Video Courtesy from New Scientist
There are a couple ways to do the 3-parent technique however, the process which is approved in the UK is the pronuclear transfer. It involves fertilizing both the biological mother’s egg and the donor’s egg with the father’s sperm.
The researchers then replace the donor’s egg nucleus with the mother’s egg nucleus thus giving it a healthy donor mitochondria on the fertilized egg while the mother’s DNA is in the nucleus.
The process made five embryos but only one developed healthily
which was then implanted to the mother. That lucky baby is now five months old and so far no signs of Leigh syndrome.