A baby has been born using three people’s DNA for the first time in the UK, through a technique called mitochondrial donation treatment.
The baby was developed through a process known as mitochondrial donation treatment (MDT).
The technique was developed in Newcastle and laws were introduced to allow the creation of such babies in the UK in 2015.
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Mitochondrial donation treatment is carried out by taking the nucleus from one of the mother’s eggs, which contains her DNA, and implanting it into a donor egg that had its nucleus removed but retained the donor’s healthy mitochondrial DNA.
According to research reported by BBC professor Doug Turnbull, head of the center in Newcastle that pioneered the research, said that the donor is not considered a “parent.” That is in part because her donation — mitochondria — won’t influence the
Professor Doug further explained that she only accounts for 0.1% of the baby’s DNA.
The scientific technique prevent babies from being born with mitochondrial diseases
THE TECHNIQUE PREVENT MITOCHONDRIAL DISEASES
The scientific technique is designed to prevent children from being born with devastating mitochondrial diseases, which are considered incurable and can be fatal within days or even hours of birth.
So many families have lost multiple children because of mitochondrial diseases, and this technique is seen as the only option for them to have a healthy child of their own.
A lot of scientists and patient groups welcomed the news, and added that it was a milestone for reproductive medicine and a source of hope for families that are affected by mitochondrial diseases.
At the same time, critics have raised concerns about the long-term safety and ethical implications of MDT, and have called for more research and public debate before it is widely available to everyone.
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