First ever human birth achieved using DNA from three parents

29 September 2016

A new breakthrough in human fertility has been achieved following the birth of the world's first baby using DNA from three different parents.

The child is now five months old and was born to Jordanian parents who approached a US-based team, led by John Zhang at the New Hope Fertility Center in New York, about the prospect of using this revolutionary technique.

This method was used because the mother is a genetic carrier for Leigh syndrome, a fatal disorder that affects the developing nervous system and had caused the deaths of her first two children.

A report in the New Scientist has detailed how Dr Zhang was able to take the nucleus from one of the mother's eggs and insert it into a donor egg that had had its own nucleus removed, with the resulting egg fertilised with the father's sperm.

The team avoided destroying embryos during the process and used a male embryo to prevent any inherited mitochondrial DNA from being passed on.

This procedure was carried out in Mexico, as it has not yet been approved in the US, and the resulting child was born in April. In the period since his birth, he has shown no signs of disease.

Posted by Philip Briggs


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