The British New Scientist announces the birth of the first baby in the world to have not 2, but 3 different parents, thanks to artificial insemination.
The affair, which saw the team of US doctors led by John Zhang of New Hope Fertility Center in New York City, took place in Mexico, where “there are no rules, while saving lives is the ethical thing to do “, with the clear objective to prevent the unborn child inherit maternal genetic disease, Leigh’s syndrome.
The child, of Jordanian origins, currently is in excellent health and has come to the first 5 months of life, with a genetic makeup quite unique, combining the one of the three parents: the father, the mother and that of the donor outer mitochondrial DNA.
Why all these?
Leigh syndrome (subacute necrotizing encephalopathy) is a progressive neurological disease, that usually sees its beginnings in early childhood and developed bringing death within 1/2 years.
This disease was the cause of premature death in the previous two children of the couple.
To avoid losing even the little child, the couple decided to carry out artificial insemination, a method currently approved only in the UK, but with a slight variation, called spindle nuclear transfer.
It was not, in fact, a classic “assisted reproduction”, but rather the renamed “IVF ( in vitro) with three parents.”
The procedure, in simple words, can replace part of the genetic heritage.
In this case, the replaced part was that mitochondrial of the mother with healthy mitochondrial part of the donor; basically was transferred oocyte nucleus of the biological mother into the oocyte “emptiness” of the donor.
Later, the egg has been fertilized with the father’s sperm.
5 embryons were followed, but only one was adequately developed in order to be implanted.
Now, the last true remaining hurdle is security; In fact, the last implanted embryos to create a child with 3 DNA from 1990, in which there have been subsequent genetic diseases.
It is hoped that the case of the child not contained in the list, since it has only a small part of the modified gene, ie 1%.