World’s First Three-Parent Baby Boy Born: Spindle Nuclear Transfer Facts

World’s First Three-Parent Baby Boy Born: Spindle Nuclear Transfer Facts
Baby Finger Hand Dad Chiu One Hundred Days Stone Qazyamyam / Pixabay Public Domain
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This is the first time a baby was born carrying DNA properties of three parents! Find out more about how this happened!


Yet another breakthrough in modern science has occurred! This time, it’s a baby who was born from the genes of three parents!

The medical marvel of a baby was created by a U.S. medical team in Mexico, led by Dr. John Zhang from New York City’s New Hope Fertility Center.

While genetic experiments such as these have been conducted in the United Kingdom before, this is the first time one of them has achieved 100% success rate.

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Due to the complicated medical procedure, the “three-parent” baby boy, born to Jordanian mother IS and her husband, is now free from the risk of inheriting a mitochondrial dysfunction that might be passed on from the mother, who carries the genes for the disease within her.

Mitochondrial Disease 

This is a kind of disease which is passed on, in certain cases, from the mother (since the father rarely or never passes on mitochondrial cells) to the child that causes him or her to develop a genetic dysfunction in its infant stage.

The disease is known to cause significant damage to multiple organs in the human body, including major tissues of the brain, heart, and the central nervous system, causing death within 6 years of being born.

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There is extremely limited prenatal and preimplantation diagnosis of such a disease, with no cure discovered yet of the same.

Hence, the medical world has chosen to focus on preventing the mitochondrial dysfunction from transmitting to the child through germline gene replacement therapy, reports NCBI.

One of the ways is to medically edit the egg of the mother by replacing it with the gene of a third “parent” donor, which rectifies the state of mutation that existed within the mother’s mitochondrial cells.

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First Three-Parent Baby

The proud parents of the first three-parent baby had to go through a rough past when they had to lose two of their previous children to a mitochondrial disease known as Leigh’s syndrome.

After IS was diagnosed with this rare yet deadly medical condition, the couple went to Dr. Zhang, who agreed to help them out. The process involved in the birth of the miracle baby is known as “spindle nuclear transfer.”

The process involves the nucleus of one of the mother’s egg to be replaced with the nucleus of an egg from the donor. The egg would then go through the normal fertilization process with the father’s sperm.

“This is a milestone technique. It proves for the first time that genetic information from three people can avoid disease. We now know reconstitution of human eggs can produce a healthy baby,” Dr. Zhang told the Daily Mail.

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