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Baby with DNA from three people born in Greece

A baby with DNA from three people has been born in Greece following a controversial fertility treatment.

 (Science and Technology Magazines)

 

     

The baby boy, weighing 2.9kg (6lb), was born on Tuesday and both he and his mother, who is 32, are said to be in good health.

The doctors behind the treatment, from Greece and Spain, say it marks a historic advance Ė it is the first time an IVF technique involving DNA from three people has been used with the aim of addressing fertility problems.

But UK experts criticised the decision to proceed with the treatment, which they said was not backed by evidence and involved unjustifiable risks.

The experimental IVF treatment, known as mitochondrial donation, involves using an egg from the mother, sperm from the father and another egg from a female donor.

 

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The vast majority of a personís genes Ė about 99.8% Ė are found on the 23 pairs of chromosomes that sit inside the nucleus in each cell in the body, and in the IVF procedure this DNA comes from the two parents

However, a tiny proportion of genetic material also resides in a cellís mitochondria, small structures that act as the cellís batteries and float around freely in the cell body. In mitochondrial donation, the motherís mitochondria are removed from her egg and replaced by a donorís.

 

The treatment was originally developed as a treatment that could prevent women with debilitating or even fatal mitochondrial diseases from passing them on to their children.

The treatment was made legal in the UK in 2015, but so far no other country has introduced laws to permit the technique. There is only one known instance of the technique being applied clinically, in which a family from Jordan were treated by US doctors at a Mexican clinic, prompting controversy.

The doctors behind the latest treatment claim that mitochondria also play a role in successful pregnancy and suggest that the technique could be applied more broadly as a fertility treatment. The 32-year old woman in the latest case had previously undergone

 

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