Baby born with DNA from 3 people, first from new technique

20_week_fetus
From Seattle Times: Scientists say the first baby has been born from a controversial new technique that combines DNA from three people — the mother, the father and an egg donor. The goal was to prevent the child from inheriting a fatal genetic disease from his mother, who had previously lost two children to the illness.
The birth of the boy is revealed in a research summary published by the journal Fertility & Sterility. Scientists are scheduled to present details at a meeting next month in Salt Lake City.
The magazine New Scientist, which first reported the birth, said the baby was born five months ago to Jordanian parents, and that they were treated in Mexico by a team led by Dr. John Zhang of the New Hope Fertility Center in New York. It’s not clear where the child was born.

Dr. John Zhang

Dr. John Zhang


The technique is not approved in the United States, but Zhang told the magazine, “To save lives is the ethical thing to do.” A spokesman for the fertility center said Zhang was not available for further comment on Tuesday. Others involved in the research referred questions to Zhang.
The mother carries DNA that could have given her child Leigh syndrome, a severe neurological disorder that usually kills within a few years of birth. Her two previous children died of the disease at 8 months and 6 years, the research summary said.
The technique involved removing some of the mother’s DNA from an egg, and leaving the disease-causing DNA behind. The healthy DNA was slipped into a donor’s egg, which was then fertilized. As a result, the baby inherited DNA from both parents and the egg donor. The technique is sometimes said to produce “three-parent babies,” but the DNA contribution from the egg donor is very small.
People carry DNA in two places, the nucleus of the cell and in features called mitochondria, which lie outside the nucleus. The technique is designed to transfer only DNA of the nucleus to the donor egg, separating it from the mother’s disease-causing mitochondrial DNA.
The research summary identified the mother as a 36-year-old woman and said her pregnancy was uneventful. One of the five eggs the researchers treated was suitable for use.
Critics question the technique’s safety, saying children would have to be tracked for decades to make sure they remain healthy. And they say it passes a fundamental scientific boundary by altering the DNA inherited by future generations. Mitochondrial DNA is passed from women to their offspring.
Still, last year, Britain became the first country in the world to allow creation of human embryos with the technique. In the U.S., a panel of government advisers said earlier this year that it’s ethical to test the approach in people if initial experiments follow certain strict safety steps. That report was requested by the Food and Drug Administration, which is currently prevented by Congress from considering applications to approve testing the technique in people.
Shroukhrat Mitalipov, who has worked with the approach at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, said that given the panel’s conclusion, “We believe it’s time to move forward with FDA-approved clinical trials in the United States.”
Henry Greely from Stanford University

Henry Greely from Stanford University


Henry Greely, who directs the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford University, said Tuesday he sees nothing wrong with using the technique if it is safe and is aimed at diseases clearly caused by faulty mitochondrial DNA. But he called the research leading to the newly reported birth “unethical, unwise, immoral.” He said the approach “hasn’t been sufficiently proven safe enough to try to use to make a baby.”
Dieter Egli of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, who has done work in the area, was cautious about the implications of the new report. “I wouldn’t go out there at this point and tout the accomplishment because we don’t have enough information,” he said Tuesday. “We do not know exactly what was done. We have to wait for a fuller report,’ he said.
The child is not the first to inherit DNA from three people. In the 1990s, some children were born after researchers used a different technique. But federal regulators intervened, and the field’s interest now has passed to the new approach.
DCG

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MA in MO
Guest

I truly have mixed reviews about this. I, on the one hand, feel for the mother who is unable to have children because of a gene deficiency. On the other hand, this is a perfect example of living through modern medical science. Which I strongly oppose. Where do we draw the line?? I do know one thing, these parents and this baby will find out what God’s will was or is and I pray that it will not be tragic! Karma can be very very rough.

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Dr. Eowyn
Admin

So whom does the baby call “mommy” and “daddy”?
The science of biology and bio-technology is getting to be very, very frightening, as all manner of manipulation of genes is being done, with little to no consideration for the moral and practical consequences.

Lophatt
Member
Lophatt

I don’t see any difference between this and practicing the occult. Both are attempts to influence things that are properly God’s to decide. If it were God’s will that everyone always get what they wanted they would.
There are some things that people must learn to accept. As we have no idea why these things happen we certainly don’t have any idea of the consequences of interfering with it.

truckjunkie
Guest
truckjunkie

Imagine the future-You go to the vending machine,select the characteristics you want your baby to have,scan the bar code on your wrist to pay for it,and in 6 months (They’ve figured out how to accelerate gestation,too.),you get a message to come and pick up your new baby. (sarc).

Miss Marple
Guest

This reminds me of the freak show in California called Octomom. The doctor who made this freak show possible lost his license in 2011.
Single mother named Octomom gave birth to 8 children (octuplets) in 2009 while having 6 from before. All this on public welfare and with assistance of the good doctor. To top it off she had her face changed to resemble Angelina Jolie, performed as a topless dancer and was charged with welfare fraud while her fourteen children was cared for by some agency. I’d imagine she’s still on a welfare roster.
https://www.cnn.com/2011/US/06/01/california.octuplets.doctor.revoked/

Steven Broiles
Member

Some time after I heard of Dolly the cloned sheep (which was euthanized without any known examination of its DNA, to my knowledge), I read some scientist’s opinion that the whole story was a fraud. Alex Jones has also reported, repeatedly, on chimeras, human-animal hybrids. I am no scientist; I have no medical degree. But these stories, along with this story of the three-parent baby, may be true. Certainly, it has been proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that we have—and eat—genetically modified foods—albeit plants (and supposedly salmon), at least for now. Yes: As I have stated in some of my… Read more »

Smokie Budy
Guest

“Mitochondria in human offspring derived from ooplasmic transplantation” is not new, there are 30 persons with this characteristic at least
so now our daughters can be like a cross between miss america and playboy playmate of the year, and our sons can look like the hulk. groovy.

Allan
Guest
Allan

This story is designed to gauge the publics desire for human cloning.

JS
Guest
JS

Where does it end? How much more will be altered? This is eugenics and it is leading down a very slippery slope. That’s exactly what the morally impovershed people funding this want: the ability to control all forms of life and death – to be like God.

Bramble
Guest
Bramble

This is a horrifying first step toward human-animal chimera.