New Scientific Technique Yields 3-Parent Baby
A five-month-old baby is living healthily after an incredibly unique birth. The United Kingdom (UK) is the only nation in the world that legally approved a scientific technique that produces a child with three biological parents. Although this is a significant shift from traditional reproduction, it allows some individuals with genetic defects to produce healthy offspring. The child’s mother is a carrier of a rare mitochondrial disease that produces fatal nervous system defects. A “pronuclear transfer” was performed by an American medical team led by John Zhang, a procedure that involves fertilizing the original egg and donor egg with the father’s sperm, and then performing a series of nuclear removals. The UK procedure was studied carefully and later performed in Mexico, where bioethical laws are virtually nonexistent.
Although it is possible for the disease to develop as the child matures, the medical team has high hopes for the child. As medical procedures of this nature become more successful in the future, it is likely that many nations will review older policies regarding scientific manipulation of embryos. The team plans to present their work at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s Scientific Congress in Salt Lake City in October.
Hamzelou, Jessica. "World's First Baby Born with New." New Scientist. September 27, 2016. Accessed October 03, 2016. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2107219-exclusive-worlds-first-baby-born-with-new-3-parent-technique/.