The recent birth of world's first "3 parent baby" is the most astonishing thing. The baby is created using IVF (in vitro fertilization) procedure and carries the genetic information of 3 parents namely mother, father and the woman who donated eggs.
Need of this procedure:
The need arose because the mother contained faulty mitochondria. This caused her 4 miscarriages and death of her 2 chidren from a neurological condition called Leigh Syndrome. Unfortunately mitochondrial diseases has no treatment yet and hence researchers develop this unique technique for women with faulty mitochondria who wish to become mother.
Creating 3 Parent Baby:
STEP 1: Mother's egg contain a healthy nucleus and damaged or faulty mitochondria.The healthy nucleus which contains DNA - the primary genetic material is extracted from mother's defective egg.
STEP 2: The donor's egg contains healthy mitochondria and nucleus.The donor's nucleus is removed and replaced by mother's healthy nucleus and donor's healthy mitochondria is retained as it is.
STEP 3:The egg carrying genetic material of 2 women- mother's nucleus and donor's healthy mitochondria is now fertilized by father's sperm and implanted into mother.
Mitochondria is the power house of the cell. Each year a small number of children are born with faulty mitochondria. The symptoms of mitochondrial diseases tend to strike in early childhood and gradually become worse leading to death of child before attaining adulthood. It mainly affects those parts of the body which need most of the energy such as brain, heart, liver and muscles. It leads to conditions such as leigh syndrome, infant poliodystrophy and Barth syndrome. Even medical conditions like Parkinson's disease, deafness, diminishing eyesight etc are attributed to faulty mitochondria.
Big relief to woman with faulty mitochondria:
Woman with faulty mitochondria are at great risk of passing it to their baby and hence limit their chances of motherhood. This technique gives them a chance of delivering a healthy baby. As this technique retains the DNA of the mother, hence the baby carries the primary genetic material of its real parents and gives an opportunity to parents to have their own genetically related baby. The procedure also means that mitochondrial diseases are further completely eliminated from future generations of that family.
People are mainly opposing this technique on religious and ethical grounds, as it destroys two embryos.There is also a fear that it could mark the push to create "Designer Babies" which may commoditize the mankind. The better understanding of the technique and its implications considering the safety aspect is necessary.