Curious Parents

A Baby Was Born With The DNA Of 3 People

It's possible to have more than two parents these days. Not just legally speaking, but at a genetic level too. It's actually been possible for a baby to be born with the DNA of three parents since the 1990s, but the concept took an unprecedented step in September 2016, when the first baby with the DNA of three parents was born using a new technique called mitochondrial donation. Thanks to this revolutionary method, the baby doesn't have Leigh Syndrome, a genetic condition that was present in the mother's genes (this technique can be used to avoid a number of genetic conditions). This is huge and exciting news for science, but, of course, it doesn't come without controversy.

Some women carry mitochondrial defects that they can pass onto their babies. With mitochondrial donation, a little bit of genetic code is taken from a donor to ensure the baby won't have that defect. However, using the DNA from three people to make a baby is not legal in many places,

due to ethical concerns

. (How will the child handle the fact that it came from three people, for example.) US doctors travelled to Mexico to carry out the September 2016 procedure, which seemed scandalous to some. The doctors, as well as other supporters in the medical community, heralded the achievement

as an important milestone in medicine

. Learn more about the procedure in the video below.

First 3-Parent Baby Born Using New Method

It's unprecedented, but also controversial.

A Three-Parent Baby?

This video explains how the new method works.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Using the DNA from three parents to make a baby is a medical technique to stop mitochondria diseases. 00:04

5 Amazing Facts About Babies

Babies are born with approximately 270 bones!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Milk produced by mothers shortly after birth is low in fat, saturated with antibodies and is high in protein. 00:39

  2. Babies are born with approximately 270 bones. 01:33

  3. A baby's "soft spot" on the head is known as the fontanelle. 01:55

Written by Curiosity Staff October 5, 2016

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