The child has genetic material mostly from its parents, and a little bit from someone else. It’s a procedure invented to prevent deadly disease.
It’s amazing but true: a baby created by three parents has been born to a 32-year old woman and her partner, in Greece. The baby was made through experimental in vitro fertilization (IVF). This new procedure uses an egg from the mother, an egg from a donor woman, and the father’s sperm.
How does it work? The baby grows with genetic material that comes mostly from the mother and father. The mitochondria in the embryo, however, comes from the donor.
Mitochondria are a human cell’s “factory”. They create energy for the cell to use. The trouble is, some people have what are called mitochondrial diseases, which can be deadly and are passed down from mothers to babies.
By using a donor’s healthy mitochondria, people with these diseases can give birth to healthy, thriving offspring that have their own genetic material.
The technique used is still considered experimental. Some scientists don’t agree with the practice. They feel it isn’t necessary, as patients could possibly conceive a healthy baby through traditional IVF treatments that involve only two parents, if enough attempts are made. In addition, the possible risks of the procedure aren’t entirely known, as of yet.
Those who support the procedure disagree. They feel a woman has an inalienable right to become a mother using her own genetic material.
What’s your take?
The baby born this April weighed 6lbs (2.9kg). Both the child and mother are said to be in good health, and doing well.