Science & Tech

UK's first 'three parent' baby born in major breakthrough

UK's first 'three parent' baby born in major breakthrough
First Baby With DNA From Three People Born In The UK

The UK's first ever baby created with DNA from three people has been born through a cutting-edge IVF procedure.

This was done through a process called mitochondrial donation treatment (MDT) where the nucleus is taken from one of the mother's eggs and is implanted into a donor egg which has had its nucleus removed but where the mitochondrial DNA still remains.

The IVF embryos created this way are free from harmful mutations their mothers carry and are likely to pass on to their children.

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However, some scientist believe the description of "three parent baby" is inaccurate due to the fact that two people make up more than 98.8 per cent of the DNA of the baby, as per The Independent.

The less than two percent that comes from the donor is mitochondrial DNA, which powers the cell compared to ordinary DNA which has genetic information that helps make us who we are.

In 2015, UK parliament changed the law to permit the procedure and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) considers approval on a case-by-case basis.

Elsewhere, the UK isn't the first to green-light the procedure since a child in Mexico was born through MDT back in 2016.

The baby's mum had mitochondrial mutations that caused called Leigh syndrome, a neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system which can be fatal.

Peter Thompson, chief executive at the HFEA, said: "MDT offers families with severe inherited mitochondrial illness the possibility of a healthy child. The UK was the first country in the world to allow MDT within a regulatory environment.

"These are still early days for MDT and the HFEA continues to review clinical and scientific developments.”

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