A baby boy has been born in Ukraine to an infertile couple with the help of a new and highly experimental technique. The technique, called pronuclear transfer, involves using the DNA of three parents.
This is the first delivery that utilized the new technique anywhere in the world, according to Valeriy Zukin, director of the Nadiya private fertility clinic in Kyiv. The boy was born using the DNA of his parents and the DNA of an egg donor.
The couple has been trying really hard to have a baby for over 15 years and have been to several rounds of IVF, all of which failed. With the help of the new technique, the 34-year-old mother gave birth to a healthy boy on January 5.
According to the experts, the 34-year-old woman’s eggs were fertilized with her partner’s sperm. Their nuclei were subsequently transferred to a donor’s egg, whose own nucleus has been removed. This means that the egg was mostly made of the genetic material from the couple.
However, the donor’s DNA is still present in the egg but at a very minute amount, around 0.15 percent.The baby boy is now the second baby born to three parents. The other one was born in Mexico but the technique used was different.
The experts hope that this breakthrough technique will help other women, like those whose embryos stop developing at a very early stage of development during cycles of in vitro fertilization. The pronuclear transfer method could also help those who have embryo arrest, a condition that affects around one percent of the two million women who undergo IVF. Its exact cause remains unanswered.
Yacoub Khalaf, the director of the Assisted Conception Unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London, said that practicians should use caution and safety assessment before incorporating this new method into everyday practice. Nevertheless, experts agree that the method can be very helpful especially to those who have high chances of passing on serious genetic illnesses.