Is the World Ready for Babies with DNA From Three Parents?

Genetics is one of the most important studies in the history of humankind. For example, humans can now cure diseases, fight pests, or end world hunger using information learned through the study of genes from various organisms. DNA i.e. deoxyribonucleic acid lies at the center of genetic studies because it carries the genetic information contained within a living organism.

To put it differently, DNA is the blueprint of life and your body uses the information it contains to grow and develop. Living organisms pass this information to their progeny and as such, parents give their offspring information they need to survive on the genetical level.3-parent_baby In humans, babies receive genes from their father and their mother. The resulting DNA is unique and gives the baby traits such as eye color or a particular risk level when it comes to developing a disease.

The science of DNA changes the world

Living organisms have existed on earth for over 3.6 billion years. The transfer of genetic information from that time to recent decades occurred through natural processes only. However, humans who have lived in their modern form for 200,000 years wish to change that approach. For example, Britons have passed legislation that seeks to make room for three parents.

In other words, it is now legal for couples to have genetically modified babies. More specifically, the embryo will undergo a mitochondrial transfer where the medical practitioners will combine DNA from the father, mother, and a female donor. The proponents of this legislation, passed in February 2015, hoped Britain would have its first 3-parent baby in 2016.

Mexico delivers the first 3-parent baby

Jordanian parents feared that their baby would develop Leigh syndrome if they decided to have one, so they opted for a 3-parent option. The parents decided to go to the United States for help, but the US is yet to legalize this procedure. So the fertility center they went to in New York i.e. New Hope decided to conduct the procedure in Mexico.

The medical practitioners removed a bit of DNA from the mother’s egg, slip it into a donor’s egg, and then the father fertilized the egg. That means the baby got DNA from the mother and father, plus the donor. As a result, the baby did not get the diseased part of the mother’s DNA that would otherwise lead to Leigh syndrome. Dr Zhang John led the team that performed this procedure, which was the first of its kind in the world, meaning that Mexico beat Britain when it came to delivering a 3-parent baby.