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‘Three-person’ baby born in Greece using experimental IVF

April 12, 2019

Photo: AFP

Fertility doctors in Greece have produced a baby boy from three people using an experimental form of IVF.

It was done to overcome a woman’s infertility, BBC reported. The procedure uses an egg from the mother, sperm from the father and another egg from a donor woman.

The baby weighed 2.9kg (6lbs) and both mother and child were in good health.

The experimental form of IVF will help infertile couples and doctors say they are “making medical history” through it. It was specifically developed to help families with deadly mitochondrial diseases, which are passed down from mother to child.

Mitochondria are the tiny compartments inside nearly every cell of the body that convert food into usable energy. The doctors combined the mother’s DNA with a donor’s mitochondria which could prevent the disease.

Related: Toba Tek Singh woman gives birth in a car

“I’m concerned that there’s no proven need for the patient to have her genetic material removed from her eggs and transferred into the eggs of a donor,” Tim Child, from the University of Oxford and the medical director of The Fertility Partnership, told BBC.

He said the risks of the technique aren’t entirely known, though may be considered acceptable if being used to treat mitochondrial disease, but not in this situation. “The patient may have conceived even if a further standard IVF cycle had been used,” he said.

“We’re proud to be supporting the first UK study into the use of mitochondria donation techniques in a well regulated environment, but we’re concerned about studies taken place without similar levels of oversight,” said Dr Beth Thompson, from the Wellcome Trust.

Ethical questions have been raised by experts in the UK, who believe the procedure should not have taken place.

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