Scientifically created - A five-month-old boy is the very first baby to be born using a new technique that fuses three differently specimened DNA, New Scientist reports. "This is great news and a huge breakthrough," says Dusko Ilic at King's College London, who wasn't involved in the work. "It's revolutionary."
The contentious approach allows parents with genetic problems to have healthy babies, and this method has only been legally approved in the UK. But the birth rights of the child, whose Jordanian parents were treated by a US-based team in Mexico, should now be introduced around the world, say embryologists.
The boy's mother bears genes for Leigh syndrome, a fateful disorder that affects the developing nervous system. Chromosome for the disease resides in DNA in the mitochondria, which gives energy to our cells and take just 37 genes that are hereditary passed down from our mothers. This is apart from the mass DNA, which is contained in each cell's nucleus.
Around a quarter of her mitochondria have the disease-causing alteration. While she is healthy, Leigh syndrome was the culprit for the deaths of her first two children. The couple asked for the help of John Zhang and his team at the New Hope Fertility Center in New York City.
U.S. pregnancy experts are also hopeful that government agencies could be impelled to amend their stance. Columbia University stem-cell researcher Dieter Egli told Science magazine that "the lesson here is that it's very important that regulatory agencies like FDA move forward." In February, the Institute of Medicine told FDA that mitochondrial alteration should be approved in specific degree; one such degree is the newborn baby boy. Because specifically, males cannot pass their mitochondrial DNA to future reproduction, the complexity may arise and would not have long-term complications within his bloodlines.
Scientist and experts seem to have taken a humane approach with their technique, says Sian Harding, who studied the ethics of the UK measure. "It's as good as or better than what we'll do in the UK," says Harding.