Mitochondrial donation Current Affairs

World’s first three-parent baby born in Mexico

The world’s first three-parent baby boy was born in Mexico to a Jordanian couple with the help a controversial new fertility technique that incorporates DNA from three people in the embryo.

The ‘three-parent’ technique also known as Mitochondrial donation (Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy) allows parents with rare genetic mutations to have healthy babies.

What is the case?

  • The boy’s mother was carrying genes for Leigh syndrome, a fatal genetic disorder that affects the brain, muscles and nerves of developing infants.
  • Genes for the genetic disease reside in DNA in the mitochondria (powerhouse of the cell), which provide energy for our cells.
  • In this case spindle nuclear transfer was used to remove the faulty nucleus from one of the mother’s eggs and inserted it into a donor egg that had its own nucleus removed.
  • The resulting egg with nuclear DNA from the mother and mitochondrial DNA from a donor – was then fertilised with the father’s sperm to create embryos.
  • This embryo was implanted in the mother and the child was born nine months later in April 2016.
  • Researchers have tested the boy’s mitochondria and found it contains less than 1% mutation.

What is Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy (MRT)

  • MRT or Mitochondrial donation is a medical technique in which defective mitochondria carried by a woman is replaced with the healthy mitochondria of a donor.
  • Through invitro fertilization technique (IVF), the egg is then fertilised with the partner’s sperm. Thus the embryo remains free from any such defects.
  • The two most common techniques in mitochondrial donation are maternal spindle transfer and pronuclear transfer.
  • Thus this medical technique prevents the transmission of mitochondrial (genetic) disease from one generation to the next.
  • MRT proposes to give parents chance of having a child that is over 99% genetically matched to them and most importantly free of the mitochondrial disease.

3-parent-baby

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