Life

Baby with 'three parents' born in UK

Baby with 'three parents' born in UK
This extra DNA could be potentially life-changing for the child, as it could help prevent future diseases. Image, composite: Pexels.com

The UK's firstΒ  'three-person baby' has been born, according to The Guardian. They join the handful of infants around the world born with DNA from three separate people

While almost 99.9% of the infant's DNA comes from two parents, an extra 0.1% is from donor DNA. This extra DNA could be potentially life-changing for the child, as it could help prevent future diseases.

The third DNA contains only a "mitochondrial donation'. Mitochondria are the' powerhouses' of cells, and a person born with defective mitochondria can suffer from a range of debilitating diseases. According to The Guardian, about one in 6,000 babies are affected by mitochondrial disorders.

By inserting mitochondria from a healthy donor egg during IVF, a mother can conceive a child with healthy mitochondria, and possibly avoid miscarriages or child deaths that result from mitochondrial defects. The infant will have DNA from three different people, but the third portion of DNA will only affect the mitochondria, and will not impact the child's appearance or other genetic traits.

Advertisement

Scientists hope that this 'three-person baby' can provide a way around the risks associated with incurable mitochondrial diseases.

Mitochondrial donation treatment is not new; According to Ladbible in 2016 a woman from Jordan gave birth to a 'three-person baby' after undergoing the same procedure. She was found to have mitochondrial mutations in her genes that caused a fatal condition known as Leigh syndrome. She had previously had four miscarriages and lost two other children before the age of six.

In 2015 the UK introduced laws to allow this procedure to take place, although the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, the UK's Fertility Regulator, has kept strict confidentiality around the identity of 'three parent' infants. According to the HFEA, only people who are at a very high risk of passing a serious mitochondrial disease onto their children are eligible for this treatment.

In other baby news, 500 'baby bundles' are being delivered to expectant parents across the South East this week.

Advertisement

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our websiteΒ Beat102103.com.

Advertisement