A five-month-old boy is the first baby to be born using a new technique that incorporates DNA from three people, New Scientist can reveal. "This is great news and a huge deal," says Dusko Ilic at King's College London, who wasn't involved in the work. The controversial technique, which allows parents with rare genetic mutations to have healthy babies, has only been legally approved in the UK. But the birth of the child, whose Jordanian parents were treated by a US-based team in Mexico, should fast-forward progress around the world, say embryologists. The boy's mother carries genes for Leigh syndrome, a fatal disorder that affects the developing nervous system.
Abrahim Hassan is the name of the first baby born via a technique that mixed DNA from three parents. Fertility doctors in New York City have successfully delivered the first baby born via a technique that mixed DNA from three parents, New Scientist reported today in an exclusive story. The healthy five-month-old boy is living proof a new and somewhat controversial method can correct genetic mutations buried in a mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, he isn't the first child to claim a trio of parents. Doctors at the New Hope Fertility Center in New York City employed this technique to prevent the child from inheriting Leigh syndrome, a fatal neurological disorder, from his mother.
Five months ago, on April 6th of this year, a boy born to a Jordanian couple became the first baby born in the world using a new in-vitro fertilization technique that uses the DNA material from two women and one man, according to a report out today in New Scientist. A U.S. team of doctors assisted with the birth, which took place in Mexico, according to New Scientist, as the technique has not been approved in the United States. However, its overwhelming success could help the approval process in the United States to be green-lit by the FDA soon. The couple decided to go through with the technique after they found out that the baby boy's mother is a carrier for Leigh syndrome, a fatal disease that afflicted her first two children; the first died at age six from the disease, and the second at just eight months. The disease-causing mutation is found in the mother's mitochondria, and the three-parent technique avoided using her mitochondria all together.
The first baby to be born using such a technique to prevent passing on genetic disease was born this year. The idea is that the technique, called mitochondrial replacement, avoids harmful mitochondrial mutations passing from the mother to her children. To create him, Chavez-Badiola and colleagues at the New Hope Fertility Center Mexico manipulated and implanted the embryo in 2015. Mexico has no specific regulations governing mitochondrial replacement or assisted reproduction.
Many more three-parent babies will soon be on their way. A clinic in Mexico is planning to use the technique in 20 pregnancies in the first half of 2017, according to its medical director Alejandro Chavez-Badiola. The idea is that the technique, called mitochondrial replacement, avoids harmful mitochondrial mutations passing from the mother to her children. It works by removing the nucleus from a mother's egg and inserting it into a donor egg, which has its own nucleus removed. The egg is then fertilised with the father's sperm.