First baby born with DNA from 3 people in UK

London, May 10 (EFE).- A baby with DNA from three people was born in the United Kingdom for the first time, according to the human fertilization and embryology authority.

Doctors used an innovative IVF procedure to prevent the newborn from inheriting incurable diseases, the fertility regulator added Tuesday night.

The groundbreaking technique, known as mitochondrial donation treatment (MDT), uses egg tissue from healthy female donors to create IVF embryos that have no harmful mutations mothers could pass on to their children.

Mitochondria are present in most human cells and are small structures that convert food into energy. Mitochondria with gene abnormalities can cause incurable and sometimes fatal medical disorders known as mitochondrial disease.

“The UK was the first country in the world to allow mitochondrial donation treatment within a regulatory environment,” HFEA chief executive Peter Thompson said.

“Mitochondrial donation treatment offers families with severe inherited mitochondrial illness the possibility of a healthy child,” Thompson added.

The resulting embryos contain genetic material from the biological parents, combining the sperm and egg of the mother and father, as well as mitochondria, around 37 genes, via the donor’s egg.

Although the embryo does contain some DNA from the donor, 99.8 percent of the newborn’s DNA comes from the biological mother and father.

“A woman who donates their eggs and/or embryos for use in other women’s mitochondrial donation treatment will not be the genetic parent of the resulting child,” HFEA said.

“This is because the mitochondria that they provide makes up less than 1 percent of the child’s genetics,” the report added.

Two pioneering techniques have been developed by doctors at the Newcastle Fertility Center, in northeast England.

In maternal spindle transfer (MST), genetic material is removed from the mother’s eggs and transferred to the donated eggs which have previously had their nuclear genetic material removed. The eggs are then fertilized with the father or donor’s sperm to form embryos.

With pronuclear transfer (PNT), the mother’s eggs are fertilized with sperm to create embryos. The nuclear genetic material of these embryos is then extracted and transferred to embryos that have been created using donor eggs and sperm from the father or sperm donor.

The genetic material from the donor eggs will have been previously removed, ensuring that the embryos contain most genetic material from the biological parents.

“These are still early days for mitochondrial donation treatment and the HFEA continues to review clinical and scientific developments,” Thompson said.

Approximately one in 6,000 babies are affected by mitochondrial disorders.

According to the HFEA, “all applications for treatment are assessed on an individual basis against the tests set out in the law and only after independent advice from experts.”

So far at least 30 families have been approved for the pioneering treatment. EFE


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