UK-born baby first to be created with DNA from THREE people

A baby has been born in the UK that will have DNA from three different people. While most of the newborn’s DNA comes from two people, there is around 0.1 percent that comes from a third party, another woman. The fundamental goal of the pioneering technique is to try and reduce the risk of mitochondrial diseases in children, per the BBC.

The report noted that mitochondrial diseases can end the lives of newborns within just a few hours or days after being born, with some families losing multiple children this way. This recent medical development is generally seen as the only realistic way of allowing parents to have a child of their own, who are otherwise susceptible to bearing children with the incurable disease.

Twitter user Avijeet posted a lengthy tweet about the process that the scientists took to make this a reality, posting: “Through the IVF technique, the baby’s biological father’s sperm was used to fertilise the eggs from the biological mother, who has mitochondrial disease, and a third, female donor with clear mitochondria, separately.”

“Then, the nuclear genetic material from the donor’s egg was removed and replaced with the genetic material from the biological parents.”

“The final product — the egg — which has the genetic material (DNA) from the parents, and the mitochondria from the female donor, is implanted in the uterus and carried to full term to yield a baby who will be free from the mother’s mitochondrial disease. This process is termed ‘Mitochondrial Donation Treatment (MDT).’”

Mitochondria are miniscule pockets within virtually every cell of the body that are responsible for converting food into usable energy. However, ineffective mitochondria cannot sufficiently fuel the body, which can often lead to brain damage, muscle wasting, heart failure, and blindness, according to the report.

Additionally, the fatal condition is only passed down by the mother, which is why mitochondrial treatment involves a modified form of IVF that uses mitochondria from a donor that does not carry the potential of passing down ineffective mitochondria.

Consequently, the child that is born this way will mostly have DNA from the two parents, but there will still be a small amount of DNA that is passed down from the third party. The report also noted that the third party’s DNA only addresses the mitochondria; their DNA will not affect the physical features of the baby, and thus, they will not be considered a “third parent.”

Image: Title: mito DNA