- A UK baby is one of the few born through a procedure that uses DNA from three people.
- The procedure uses mitochondria from a donor egg to help prevent mitochondrial diseases.
- The new technique has been controversial as it involves the destruction of embryos.
A newborn baby is one of the few in the world to have DNA from three different people: the mom, the dad, and a female donor.
The baby, born in the UK, was conceived through a new type of in vitro fertilization (IVF) intended to prevent inherited and often fatal mitochondrial diseases. bbc reported.
While carriers of these mutations can have children through adoption or egg donation, the procedure may allow them to have and deliver babies with their own DNA.
the donor is not considered a father.” That’s partly because your donation (mitochondria) won’t influence the
In fact, she only represents 0.1% of the baby’s DNA.
An innovative solution to a medical mystery
Mitochondrial disease is a kind of mystery in medicine.
There are no “highly effective” cures or treatments for the conditions, which studies show can be deadly within days of birth. BBC previously wrote about a woman who lost all seven of her children to a mitochondrial disease.
Mitochondria are the small compartments of cells that are used primarily to produce energy.
When they don’t work properly, they can lead to health problemsincluding seizures, heart problems, vision and hearing problems, kidney failure, and more.
How does it work
In an attempt to prevent these diseases, Turnbull and his colleagues developed a technique to use mitochondria from a healthy donor egg.
The process, called mitochondrial donation treatment or mitochondrial replacement therapy, may involve exchanging the nucleus of the donor egg (which contains its genetic material) for the mother’s nucleus before fertilizing it with the father’s sperm. Or a similar process can occur but with an already fertilized embryo instead of an egg.
Either way, the healthy mitochondria remain intact while the vast majority of the baby’s genetic information comes from the parents. The resulting embryo is then implanted in the mother.
Because the mitochondria are passed down from the mother, the donor must be female. The procedure has been controversial as it may involve the destruction of embryos and is considered genetic modification.
There are some of these unique children, but information about them is highly protected.
He first baby born this way it was delivered in the US in 2016 to a Jordanian family. But very few children have been conceived this way, and much of the information about them is protected, so it’s still not entirely clear how well they’re doing.
Some babies, for example, can still develop diseases, since it is inevitable that some of the mother’s mitochondria will still be passed on to them. Research has shown.
“Long-term follow-up of the children being born is essential,” said Dagan Wells, a professor of reproductive genetics at the University of Oxford who was involved in the research. told the guardian.