Three-parent baby technique now used to help fertility
Two infertile women to give birth in Ukraine after controversial gene-editing operation
Two infertile women will give birth in Ukraine after using a revolutionary technique that combines the genes of three parents, a report reveals.
The controversial technique was designed to prevent families passing on genetic mutations, not to aid fertility.
However, the New Scientist reported on Monday that two women have used the procedure to bypass fertility issues.
Both patients are married women who been undergoing In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) when they went into ‘embryo arrest’ – meaning the cells suddenly and inexplicably stopped growing half-way through the process.
One mother-to-be is 20 weeks pregnant with a son, the other 26 weeks pregnant with a daughter, the report said.
The revelation comes just two weeks after the first baby created with this technique was born.
The team was led by Valery Zukin, director of the Clinic of Reproductive Medicine in Kiev.
Zukin told the New Scientist they used a technique called ‘pro-nuclear transfer’.
As with standard IVF, they fertilize the mother’s egg with sperm from her husband.
They then also fertilze a donor’s egg with sperm from the husband. Then they extract the ‘pro-nucleus’ from the mother’s egg – that is the core of the cell that contains the mother’s and father’s chromosomes that forms after fertilization.