Fertility doctors in Greece and Spain claim they made medical history after a healthy baby boy was born using the genetic information from three parents.
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The unidentified infant was born Tuesday in Greece, weighing about 6 pounds, the doctors said. The mother, an infertile 32-year-old woman from Greece, and the newborn child are said to be in good health.
The baby was produced by scientists using a procedure known as the maternal spindle transfer. The procedure, which is banned in the U.S. but allowed in the U.K., is an experimental form of in vitro fertilization that combines the eggs of a mother and donor mother and sperm from the father.
The experimental procedure involves replacing mutated mitochondrial DNA, the “powerhouse” of the cell in our bodies, from an egg that has a risk of disease with healthy DNA from a donor. The mother in this case was infertile and had a history of multiple IVF failures, the doctors said.
Britain become the first nation to legalize a “three-parent” IVF technique. The method has raised ethical concerns with scientists because the genetic engineering has the potential to impact the genes of future generations. They also fear it could lead to the rise of “designer babies.”
Scientists from the Institute of Life in Athens worked in collaboration with Spanish research company Embryotools after five years of research. They say the results will help countless people to realize their dream of becoming parents.
“For the first time in the world, a woman’s inalienable right to become a mother with her own genetic material became a reality,” Dr. Panagiotis Psathas, the president of the Institute of Life, said in a statement.
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