First baby with DNA of three parents born to overcome faulty genes

By on September 28, 2016
First baby with DNA of three parents born to overcome faulty genes

The first baby with DNA from three parents has been born in Mexico, it has emerged.

The procedure, which is illegal in the United States, was performed by a team led by Dr. John Zhang of the New Hope Fertility Center in New York at a facility in Mexico; the baby boy is now six months old.

The mother carried a genetic mutation for Leigh syndrome, a neurological disorder that is often fatal within a few years. Two of the mother’s children had died from the syndrome, and she’d had four miscarriages. The new baby has so far been healthy and showed no signs of the disease thanks to the “revolutionary” technique, which “involved removing some of the mother’s DNA from an egg, and leaving the disease-causing DNA behind,” The Associated Press reports. “The healthy DNA was slipped into a donor’s egg, which was then fertilized. As a result, the baby inherited DNA from both parents and the egg donor.”

“This is the very first time at least in human reproduction that the offspring are produced with three parties — one sperm and different parts of two eggs … So this is very revolutionary,” Zhang told CBS News. And while the procedure might not be allowed in the United States, Zhang insisted, “To save lives is the ethical thing to do.”

Laura F. Nixon

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