Doctors announced that a healthy boy had been delivered in a “world first”, after they used the new procedure to combat infertility for the first time.
The so-called “three-parent” technique, also known by its scientific name of mitochondrial donation, was developed for a different purpose.
The treatment, which was given the green light in the UK last year, has the potential to allow couples, who carry, and therefore risk passing on, deadly genetic diseases, to conceive healthy babies.
Though dubbed a “three-parent” therapy, babies born as a result only inherit personality traits, those that affect their appearance and other features that make a person unique, from their mum and dad – not the donor.
For the first time, in a unique experiment that one expert compared to a “genetic head transplant”, a fertility clinic in Ukraine used the treatment to help combat infertility.
Specialists fertilized a 34-year-old woman’s eggs with her partner’s sperm and then transferred their genes into a donor egg.
The woman gave birth to a boy on January 5, after more than a decade of trying to conceive, including four failed cycles of IVF.
The boy, who has the genetic identity of his parents and a very small amount of DNA from the second woman, is the second in the world to owe his existence to this procedure.
Some scientists warn the treatment, also known as pronuclear transfer could be unsafe and could give women false hope.
Valery Zukin, who led the work at the Nadiya clinic in Kiev, argued it could help women whose embryos consistently stopped growing before they could be implanted in a womb.
Source: The Sun