In a flurry of controversy, a baby girl was born on January 5th this year, in Kiev in the Ukraine, who has the DNA of 3 separate people. Another baby boy was born 5 months ago in New York who also has the genetic make up of 3 separate parents. Doctors and scientists appear to be starting to cross the boundaries of ethics to create designer children for desperate couples.
In a procedure that is banned in the US, a grief-stricken Jordanian husband and wife sought the assistance of the radical Dr. John Zhang from the New Hope Fertility Center in New York. He arranged for permission to carry out controversial human embryo manipulation in Mexico, to create a designer baby that would, he hoped, not die at a young age as the couple’s earlier children had – they had previously lost one at the age of 6, and another at the age of 8 months.
These children had suffered from a disease carried in the mother’s mitochondrial DNA called Leigh Syndrome, which is a rare and deadly genetic neurometabolic disorder. Dr. Zhang took the nuclear DNA out of the donor mother’s cell, which contained healthy mitochondria DNA, and transferred the nuclear DNA from the mother into that donor egg.
It was then fertilized by the father’s sperm. It means that the child has traces of DNA that will remain from the donor mother, as well as both it’s parents.
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