Tech & Science

World's First Baby Born with Three Biological Parents

Embryo
An injection of embryo stem cells in a muse embryo, February 9, 2012. The three-parent technique that resulted in the birth of Abrahim Hassan was used by Dr John Zhang and his team at the New Hope Fertility Clinic in New York. Anne-Christine Poujoulat/Getty

The world's first baby with DNA from three biological parents has been born. 

Doctors waited until Abrahim Hassan, born on April 6, was five months old before making the announcement as they wanted to ensure he did not have the same condition that killed his siblings.

The controversial “three-parent” technique, which allows couples with rare genetic mutations to have healthy babies, has only been legally approved in the U.K. But the birth of Abrahim, revealed by New Scientist, will quicken progress around the world, experts say.

Abrahim's mother, Ibtisam Shaban, from Jordan, carries genes for Leigh syndrome, a fatal disorder that affects the developing nervous system and would have been passed on in her mitochondrial DNA.

While she is healthy, Shaban and her husband, Mahmoud Hassan, have previously suffered four miscarriages and lost two children, one aged six and another aged eight months, due to the condition.

The “three-parent” procedure, used by Dr John Zhang, of the New Hope Fertility Clinic in New York, involved taking the nucleus from one of Shaban's eggs—containing her DNA—and implanting it into a donor egg that had its nucleus removed but retained the donor's healthy mitochondrial DNA.

The resulting egg—with nuclear DNA from Shaban and DNA from a donor—was then fertilized with Hassan’s sperm.

An embryo that developed was then implanted in Shaban, and Abrahim was born nine months later.

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