by Julie Fidler, Natural Society
Researchers at the Institute of Life in Athens, Greece, announced April 9th that medical history had been made with the birth of a healthy baby boy to a 32 year-old woman who had experienced several failed cycles of in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The boy was born with DNA from three different parents.
The boy, who weighed 6 pounds at birth, was born using a technique called maternal spindle transfer. The process involves removing the grouped-together DNA from a mother’s egg and placing it inside a donor egg from another woman, which has had its DNA removed. The donor’s egg with the mother’s genes is then fertilized and develops into an embryo that is transferred for pregnancy. This solves the problem of something inside the mother’s egg preventing a viable embryo from forming.
Mitochondria might have been a factor in the mother’s inability to conceive, though the woman was not diagnosed with any mitochondrial conditions. Mitochondria are found in every human cell and lie outside of the nuclear DNA that contains a cell’s genes. Maternal spindle transfer replaces the mother’s faulty mitochondria with the donor’s, making it possible for the egg to be fertilized and turn into an embryo.
© 2019 Natural Society