Tuesday, July 2, 2019

A Baby Was Born With DNA From 3 People

After several failed in vitro fertilization attempts for an Australian couple, researchers suggested a process called maternal spindle transfer. They found that her previous methods did not work because of a malfunction in the egg “Preventing a viable embryo from forming when it was fertilized.” This new technique involved removing the DNA from the mother’s egg, and replacing it with the DNA inside of a donor’s egg. The mother’s DNA in this egg will then be fertilized by the father’s sperm. The woman gave birth to a healthy baby boy which lead researchers to believe this method could help many families who struggle with IVF treatments. 

Multiple other factors likely contribute to the failing IVF one of which being mitochondrial diseases and malformations. When the mother’s DNA is transferred into a new egg, the embryo is able to healthily develop with the donor’s healthy mitochondria. We previously thought that mitochondria did not have a large role in reproduction, however, new research from Dr. Jonathan Tilly proves otherwise. After studying early embryo development, he has found that “Mitochondria may be playing an important role in helping eggs especially those from older women, to get fertilized and grow into healthy embryos and eventually newborns.” Interestingly enough, as others look at similar studies, many show evidence that when IVF fails, there is often a mitochondrial deficiency.

Researchers do not think the maternal spindle transfer will appear in fertility clinics anytime soon, as there is a lot more testing that must be done. They also joke about this process in the sense that there are three parent figures since the mother’s DNA is in another woman's egg. Dr. Tilly believes that this research will lead to a change in the way the US goes about fertility treatments as we are not allowed to alter genetic material during embryonic development. 

I think that this technique should be used in all countries. I was created via in vitro fertilization after several attempts. Luckily, after the third try the egg was fertilized and embryonic development began. However, thousands of couples every year spent countless times trying IVF only for it to also fail them. This new treatment would give husbands and wives the opportunity to have a biological family. I find it quite fascinating that DNA is able to be extracted and implanted into another woman's egg. With more research and clinical trials, I believe this method will give many families the ability to have a child. 

1 comment:

  1. Maternal spindle transfer was interesting to me because I haven't even heard of it before. I am familiar with IVF and it seems rather popular. I think with more testing and confidence, this other method will become available to couples across the globe. What most interested me was how the doctors figured out why IVF didn't work, more specifically, the malfunction in the egg that “Prevent[s] a viable embryo from forming when it was fertilized.” I think as long as couples know the risks and complications of a procedure and a doctor is able to execute it properly, it should be the couple's decision to try a method that will work best for them.