U.K. Becomes First Country to Introduce ‘Three-Parent Babies,’ Baby Receives DNA From Three People

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Louis Reed

The first baby to be created with DNA from three people has been born in the UK after doctors successfully executed an IVF procedure that intends to save children from

“inheriting incurable diseases,”

reports The Guardian

The pioneering procedure is known as mitochondrial donation treatment which allows female donors to provide IVF embryos that are

“free from harmful mutations”

to mothers who suffer from mutated mitochondria, which can possibly be passed down to their children.

The donor contributes tissue from their egg which is combined with the sperm and egg of the biological parents. According to the outlet, the baby will have the DNA from the mother and father as well as a small amount of

“genetic material – about 37 genes,”

from the donor.

“The nuclear genetic material from the donor’s egg is then removed and replaced with that from the couple’s fertilized egg. The resulting egg has a full set of chromosomes from both parents, but carries the donor’s healthy mitochondria instead of the mother’s faulty ones. This is then implanted in the womb,”

researchers from the Newcastle clinic revealed. 

The process has taken on the phrase

“three-parent babies”,

though more than 99.8% of the DNA in the babies are still coming from the biological parents.

“So far, the clinical experience with MRT has been encouraging, but the number of reported cases is far too small to draw any definitive conclusions about the safety or efficacy,”

said Dagan Wells, a professor of reproductive genetics at the University of Oxford who took part in the research.

“Long-term follow-up of the children born is essential. The stage of development when reversal happens is unclear, but it probably occurs at a very early stage. This means that prenatal testing, carried out [at] about 12 weeks of pregnancy, may well succeed in identifying if reversal has occurred.”

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