In an unprecedented scientific initiative for the UK, the first baby created from the DNA of three people has been born. BBC informed of. In this process, 99.8% of the DNA comes from two parents, with the remainder from a female donor. The pioneering technology is an effort to prevent children from being born with devastating mitochondrial diseases.
Known as mitochondrial donation treatment (MDT), the technique uses tissue from the eggs of healthy female donors to create IVF embryos that are free of harmful mutations that their mothers carry and pass on to their children. There is a possibility of
Notably, mitochondrial diseases are incurable and can be fatal within days or hours after birth. They are only passed on by the mother, so mitochondrial donation treatment is a modified form of IVF that uses mitochondria from a healthy donor egg.
The child will have nuclear DNA from its mother and father that defines key characteristics such as personality and eye color. In addition, it will contain a small amount of mitochondrial DNA provided by a female donor.
Doctors have not released details of the birth from the MDT program at the clinic in Newcastle, in the north-east of England, where the successful baby was born.
Dagan Wells, a professor of reproductive genetics at the University of Oxford who participated in the UK breakthrough, told Guardian that clinical experience with MRT was “encouraging”, but the number of reported cases was “too small” to draw any definite conclusions about “safety or efficacy”.
The UK is not the first country to produce children with MDT. The first child born through this technique was in 2016 to a Jordanian family undergoing treatment in the US.