The world has welcomed its first baby with DNA from three parents in the embryo in a controversial new technique by US scientists.
According to a report in New Scientist magazine, which described the revelation as an “exclusive”, the baby boy born five months ago in Mexico to Jordanian parents, is healthy and doing well.
John Zhang, a doctor from the New Hope Fertility Center in New York City said the mother of the new born carried genes for a disorder known as Leigh Syndrome, a fatal nervous system disorder which she had passed on to her two previous children who both died of the disease.
And after suffering four other painful miscarriages, Dr. Zhang said the woman’s husband approached him to have a baby that would be genetically related to them but would not carry the inherited disease.
Dr. Zang said he had to move to Mexico where he was quoted by New Scientist as saying “there are no rules” to grant the couple’s wish as United States has not approved any three-parent method for fertility purposes.
One method that has been approved in the United Kingdom, called pronuclear transfer, was deemed unacceptable to the couple because it would involve the destruction of two embryos, said the report.
Since the mother carried the genes for the disease in her mitochondria, or DNA that is passed down from the maternal side, Zhang used her nuclear DNA and combined it with mitochondria from an egg donor, in a technique known as spindle nuclear transfer.
“He removed the nucleus from one of the mother’s eggs and inserted it into a donor egg that had its own nucleus removed,” said the report. “The resulting egg –- with nuclear DNA from the mother and mitochondrial DNA from a donor -– was then fertilized with the father’s sperm.”
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