A few months ago, in Mexico, was born the first baby procreated with an assisted reproduction technique, which uses DNA from three people; this technique is called “three parents”.
The baby has the DNA of the father, the mother, and also has a small amount of genetic code from a donor.
An eager couple to have children went to Dr. John Zhang, as they had previously lost two babies because the mother suffers from Leigh syndrome, a rare disease that affects the nervous system development.
These genes are located in the DNA of the mitochondria, better known as the “engine” of cells, containing only 37 genes that are inherited from mother to baby. And this technique of aided management allows parents with genetic mutations to have healthy babies.
A team of American doctors was in charge of the case, and the reason that it was held in Mexico was that in the United States this technique is not authorized, while in Mexico there are still no regulations for such procedures, which has recently been legalized in the UK.
Led by Dr. Zhang, the team used the procedure to create five embryos, of which only one was healthy, and was the one that was implanted in the mother, and 9 months after the baby was born.
The technique of “three parents” was developed in Newcastle, combining the DNA of two parents with healthy mitochondria from a donor woman, who replaces the damaged DNA from the mother.
The process occurs as follows: First the core of one of the ova of the mother is removed and inserted to a donor egg, then the remaining egg, with the nuclear DNA from the mother and mitochondrial DNA of the donor is fertilized with the father’s sperm.
This technique, according to experts, marks “a new era in medicine” and can help all families who suffer from these kinds of disorders.