The birth of a baby boy has been making headlines due to a unique factor: he was born from a new technique that combines DNA of three people. No, this is not Frankenstein science, but rather scientists and doctors committed to this procedure to prevent the child from inheriting a fatal genetic disease from his biological mother.
Revealed in academic science journals Fertility & Sterility and New Scientist, the baby was birthed nearly five months ago to Jordanian parents. However, the procedure of DNA splicing three parent strands of genetic material is currently illegal in the United States, so the operation was moved to Mexico. Accompanying the Jordanian parents to ensure the proper procedure and birth of the unique child was Dr. John Zhang of the New Hope Fertility Center in New York.
Zhang claims in New Scientist that “to save lives is the ethical thing to do” when asked about the riskiness and theoretical questioning of manipulating fertility science. The baby boy was at risk of inheriting Leigh syndrome, a severe neurological disorder that will kill within a few years of birth.
The official DNA manipulation technique is as follows: doctors removed portions of the mother’s DNA from an egg, exiling the disease-causing DNA. Then, healthy DNA was inserted into a donor’s egg, which was then fertilized. Finally, the impending result was the baby inheriting DNA from both parents, and the egg donor. Scientists, including Zhang, are scheduled to make a more detailed presentation at a meeting next month.
image credit: Fox News
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