WEBSTER, Texas — Are two "eggs" better than one? When it came to the birth of a healthy little boy back in April, yes!
Doctor's using a couple of eggs coming from two "different" females, and of course some sperm, have successfully delivered the world's first baby born using DNA from three parents. We guess this time around, baby makes "four".
US-based fertility doctors performed the procedure for a Jordanian couple, who have been having trouble conceiving for 20 years. The wife carries Leigh Syndrome, a potentially fatal disorder that can be passed down in child-birth. So a group effect was needed for them to have a healthy baby.
The new technique, not legally approved in the U.S., was performed in Mexico, where regulations are a little lax. It involved taking the mother's egg, and replacing the disease-affected mitochondria with "normal" mitochondria from a donor egg. The two eggs created one health egg, to then inseminate. Dr. Vicki Schnell, Medical Director for Center of Reproductive Medicine says, "It is exciting that these mitochondrial diseases could be removed from the human population."
This "three-parent" technique, just recently OK'd in the UK, has been raising ethical concerns about the role genetic manipulation plays in the creation of babies. Dr. Schnell adds, "However, we have to weigh the benefits to the child, versus the benefits to society carefully. the whole medical, legal and ethical community needs to be involved in evaluating this."
But for the new parents of this new healthy baby, there's no controversy at all. No matter how big the family really is.