A WOMAN has made medical history after giving birth to the world’s second “three-parent baby”.
The 32-year-old Greek woman had been struggling with fertility issues, having had four failed rounds of IVF before hearing about the trial.
Getty – Contributor A woman has given birth to a “three-parent baby” in a trial of the procedure
Spanish doctors used a technique called maternal spinal transfer (MST) to take DNA from one of her eggs into a donor’s egg before it was fertilised with sperm.
And on Wednesday, the woman finally gave birth to a healthy 6.5lb boy.
His birth is being hailed as a breakthrough for female infertility issues.A breakthrough for infertility treatment
Dr Panagiotis Psathas, president of Institute of Life, said: ‘Today, for the first time in the world, a woman’s inalienable right to become a mother with her own genetic material became a reality.
“As Greek scientists, we are very proud to announce an international innovation in assisted reproduction, and we are now in a position to make it possible for women with multiple IVF failures or rare mitochondrial genetic diseases to have a healthy child.
“At the Institute of Life, our commitment is to continue to help even more couples facing fertility issues to have children with their own DNA, without having recourse to egg donors.”
But not everyone thinks that the procedure is a step forwards.
University of Oxford ethics professor, César Palacios-González questioned whether using MSTs for infertility treatment over treating genetic diseases was morally OK.
Spindle transfer may represent a new era in the IVF fieldDr Nuno Costa-Borges
But the trial’s leader, Dr Nuno Costa-Bourges, said that the procedure was just like an egg donation, except that in this case, 99 per cent of the baby’s genes came from the mum and dad.
“For some patients, it’s very hard to accept that they cannot get pregnant with their own [eggs],” he said.
“Spindle transfer may represent a new era in the IVF field, as it could give these patients chances of having a child genetically related to them.”Only the third MST baby in the world
The procedure is currently banned in the USA.
Only two other babies have been born using MST since it was invented, and both sparked global controversy at the time.
The world’s first MST baby was born in Mexico back in 2006.
The infant’s parents sought the help of experts in the field of mitochondrial donation, in a bid to eradicate rare genetic mutations that cause Leigh syndrome.
There was a high risk the baby’s mother could pass on the faulty DNA to her children.
Doctors who treated the 36-year-old noted she had previously suffered four miscarriages and lost two children, one at eight months old and the other at six years, to Leigh syndrome.
The UK could be next
Last year, scientists in Newcastle were given permission to create Britain’s first three-parent babies for two women with heritable genetic diseases.
MST was invented at Oregon Health and Science University in 2009 in animal experiments.
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But in 2015, the US banned its use for human pregnancies, out of fear that it might pave the path towards genetic modification.
In 2016, the UK became the first country in the world to allow the controversial three-parent technique, following a historic vote by MPs.
At the time of the Commons vote, church leaders and other campaigners opposed the controversial move, warning it was the start of a “slippery slope” towards designer babies.
A graphic detailing how it all happened
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