Wednesday, November 23, 2016

One Baby, Three Parents

Seven months ago, a child was born in Mexico with three different parents. This was done through a procedure that is illegal in the United States but in Mexico there's no regulation with these types of procedures. This procedure is only legal in the UK.
John Zang who performed this procedure used a method known as a spindle nuclear transfer. This procedure is done by taking a donor egg, removing its nucleus and inserting a nucleus from the egg of the mother. This donor egg with the mother's nucleus is fertilized by the father's sperm and left to develop. This procedure was done because there was a problem with the mitochondria of the mother. It's also done to prevent passing this problem of mitochondria to the offspring.
Leigh syndrome is the disease carried by the mother who already had 4 miscarriages. By doing this procedure, this mother was still able to be a biological mother to the child since she gave him the nucleus from the egg. Few procedures similar to these have been done and as time goes on and clinical trials are performed, we'd be able to make sure it is safe for the pregnant woman and child.
I think this procedure is absolutely amazing. Many mothers with genetic defects are distraught at the thought of not being able to have a child that is genetically theirs. With this procedure, they are able to have a child that is genetically their yet avoid the risk of passing on the defect. I hope more clinical trials are performed and this procedure is perfected so it may help many parents who are having trouble conceiving.

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