Three Parents and a Baby
October 7, 2016
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This week on The Digital Life we discuss the recent announcement that the world’s first baby was born from new procedure using DNA of three people. Dr. John Zhang, from the New Hope Fertility Center in New York, led the team that attempted the mitochondrial transfer procedure. The procedure replaces faulty DNA in a mother’s egg with healthy DNA from a second woman — the baby inherits genes from two mothers and one father. This prevents certain, potentially fatal genetic diseases from being passed on to the child. The United Kingdom was the first country to legalize mitochondrial transfer in 2015, but, no other country has followed with a similar law. The procedure was conducted in Mexico where there are no rules in place for this kind of activity, with a team from the US. While this technique does not specifically impact the concerns about “designer babies”, it’s clear that the genomic technology is advancing far more quickly than governments are able to deal with it.