A baby who has the DNA of three different people has been born in the UK, a report on Tuesday has revealed.
A child containing the DNA of three different individuals has been successfully born in the United Kingdom, a freedom of information request by The Guardian has revealed.
The child is reportedly only one of a handful of people in the world born via a groundbreaking treatment pioneered by doctors in Newcastle which aims to circumvent incurable genetic diseases that can result in death soon after birth.
According to a report by the UK newspaper, the child was born as a result of a kind of IVF treatment, during which the DNA material of two parents is extracted from a fertilised but faulty egg that likely contains unhealthy mitochondria. This genetic material is then transplanted into a healthy egg donated by a third party, and is then implanted into the mother of the child, where it then develops as normal.
The process can result in a child born free from potentially fatal, incurable mitochondrial illnesses.
However, due to the treatment, around 0.2 per cent of the child’s DNA actually originates from the third donor party, and will be passed on generation through generation should that child grow up and have children themselves.
The contributed genetic material — though important for preventing mitochondrial disease — is said to ultimately have little effect on the nature of the child itself, with the DNA that decides the various traits of a child that society would normally interact with, such as appearance, being from the two original parents it is claimed.
Although the technique was first developed in the UK, this child is not the first to be born using the treatment, with it first successfully being performed in Mexico by a doctor from the United States.