Healthy baby produced from DNA of three people

CCTV News

Healthy baby produced from DNA of three people

Nearly 40 years later, another groundbreaking technique which is a healthy baby was born using DNA from three people.

It’s controversial. But, the method prevented a genetic neurological defect from being passed from mother to child. And some fertility experts said this could herald a new era of reproductive medicine.

CCTV America’s Liling Tan spoke with the doctor behind the procedure.

Healthy baby produced from DNA of three people

Healthy baby produced from DNA of three people

Nearly 40 years later, another groundbreaking technique which is a healthy baby was born using DNA from three people. It’s controversial. But, the method prevented a genetic neurological defect from being passed from mother to child. And some fertility experts said this could herald a new era of reproductive medicine. CCTV America’s Liling Tan spoke with the doctor behind the procedure.

Dr. John Zhang, held the healthy baby boy born from a groundbreaking procedure that used genetic material from three people: the child’s two parents, and a donor.

The parents of the baby boy, his faced obscured for privacy, had endured four miscarriages and the loss of two young children due to a severe neurological disorder called Leigh Syndrome. The mother carries the gene.

Dr. Zhang explained how the procedure worked.

“Any cells are made of two parts. One part called the nucleus which carries the DNA materials which determine who you are, who I am, and very much like the egg yolk in the chicken egg,” Dr. John Zhang, Medical Director from New Hope Fertility Center said.

“And the second part of the cell made up of the cytoplasm, which is all the cell machinery to support, to build the cells, and which is exactly equivalent to egg white. So nuclear transfer technique is we have two eggs. One egg has good egg yolk and good egg white. Another egg has good egg yolk but don’t have a proper egg white. So we’re going to swap the egg yolk with good egg white. So this is the procedure of the nuclear transfer.”

The combined egg is then fertilized with the father’s sperm. This entire process involved people from across the world. The team from the U.S. clinic was led by Dr. Zhang from China’s Zhejiang province, the clients are Jordanian, and the procedure was conducted in Mexico where there are no laws against this, and done under the supervision of ethicists from Great Britain that the only country where a version of the technique has been legalized.

And while babies have been created before using DNA from three people, Dr. Zhang’s method is unprecedented and seen as groundbreaking because it opens up exciting new medical possibilities.