A baby has been born in Ukraine through a controversial genetic modification technique involving three parents. The procedure known as Pronuclear Transfer, mooted as a treatment for maternally carried mitochondrial DNA sees the healthy nuclear material from a fertilised egg of two parents removed and placed into a donor egg from a second woman which has healthy mitochondria.
The procedure to deliver the child was led by Dr Valery Zukin, who said afterwards of this world first that the successful birth “opens up the possibility of augmenting embryos”. However, reacting to the birth announcement, Professor Adam Balen, chairman of the British Fertility Society, described it as “highly experimental” and also said it has not “been properly evaluated or scientifically proven”. The world’s first three-parent baby was born to US parents in Mexico last September, using a similar technique known as Maternal Spindle Transfer.