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DNA of Three Parents Used to Human Engineer One Baby

Image: DNA of Three Parents Used to Human Engineer One Baby

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By    |   Wednesday, 28 Sep 2016 01:12 PM

Experts are calling the birth of a newborn baby boy a “revolutionary” medical event after the infant was born with DNA from three parents.

The little boy, now nearly six months old, was conceived using a contentious technique that helps people who carry genes for lethal diseases, CBS News noted.

The procedure gained quite the media attention after U.K. lawmakers approved the technique last year. It’s not been approved in the United States.

According to the Washington Post, a technique involving transfers of donor DNA was pioneered in the U.S. in the 1990s but was banned after fewer than 100 babies were born.

The baby boy was born in April 2016, said CBS, and despite his mother’s complications, doctors said he appeared to be very healthy.

The baby’s mother had a generic mutation for Leigh syndrome, which is fatal in most cases. She suffered four miscarriages in the past and two of her children — who were six years old and another eight months old — died from Leigh syndrome.

The disease moves quickly and leads to weakness, a lack of muscle tone and a buildup of lactic acid in the body, which causes respiratory and kidney problems. Children affected by the disease aren’t usually expected to live more than six or seven years.

The mother was actually considered to be healthy, but it was her DNA that was the problem, as the disease was located in one of her genes.

Prior to the birth of her baby, she and her husband went to Dr. John Zhang — a reproductive endocrinologist at New Hope Fertility Center in New York City — for help with the procedure.

“This mitochondrial disease is usually a very devastating situation for the babies and the family,” Zhang told CBS News.

The technique involved the removal of some of the mother’s DNA from an egg, leaving the disease-causing DNA behind, said the Chicago Tribune noted. From there, the healthy DNA was put into an egg from a donor, which was then fertilized. As a result, the baby was born with DNA from his parents and the egg donor.

“This is the very first time at least in human reproduction that the offspring are produced with three parties — one sperm and different parts of two eggs,” Zhang said. “So this is very revolutionary.”

According to the Tribune, the baby’s birth was revealed in a research summary that was published in the journal Fertility & Sterility and is scheduled to be presented next month.

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Experts are calling the birth of a newborn baby boy a “revolutionary” medical event after the infant was born with DNA from three parents.
dna, three, parents, one, baby
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2016-12-28
Wednesday, 28 Sep 2016 01:12 PM
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