First 'Three-Parent Baby’ Born in the UK with IVF Technique


by Hamna Bano

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This has been done for the first time in the UK by using three people’s DNA. Most of the DNA came from the two parents and around 0.1% from the third donor that was a woman. 


This new technique attempts to prevent children from getting born with mitochondrial diseases. 

Mitochondrial diseases are not curable and can be really devastating within the span of days or even hours of birth. So, for the people that have lost their babies, this technique is seen as the only option for them to have a healthy child of their own. 

A defective mitochondria fails to fuel the body and can lead to muscle wasting, blindness, heart failure, and even brain damage. 

"It will be interesting to know how well the mitochondrial replacement therapy technique worked at a practical level, whether the babies are free of mitochondrial disease, and whether there is any risk of them developing problems later in life," said Prof Robin Lovell-Badge, from the Francis Crick Research Institute.

Doctors at the Newcastle Clinic have not released any details regarding the concerns that some information might compromise the confidentiality of the patients. The only thing that has been confirmed is that the number of babies born is less than five, instead of giving a precise figure.

As of now, this technique has not been proven risk-free. This is because, in some of the cases, a tiny number of abnormal mitochondria were carried over from the mother’s egg to the donor’s egg. 

Women with mitochondrial mutations can save their newborns by adopting or by having IVF with a donor egg.

Before the UK, this IVF technique was first implemented successfully in the USA back in 2016.