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‘Three Parent’ Baby Born In Ukraine Uses Controversial Medical Technique

Update Date: Jan 19, 2017 07:06 PM EST

The world's first 'three-parent' baby born in Ukraine using a controversial medical technique was announced by doctors in Kiev last Wednesday. The baby was born to an infertile couple last January 5, 2017.

According to Dr. Valery Zukin at Nadiya clinic in Kiev and who lead the team, the baby's mother has been trying to have a baby for over a decade. The mother had undergone four unsuccessful rounds of conventional in-vitro fertilizationThe 34-year-old woman is also suffering from a condition called embryonic arrest, where the fertilized egg of the mother stops growing before it can be implanted in the womb.

Dr. Zukin and his team helped the infertile couple conceive a baby through a new medical technique called pronuclear transfer. In the technique, DNA from three adults is used: the mother's egg, the father's sperm, and a female donor's egg.

The Ukrainian doctors combined the mother's egg with her partner's sperm. The resulting embryo is then transferred to the female donor's egg. The baby resulting from the hybrid embryo has the genetic identity of its parents and the mitochondrial DNA from the female donor.

The use of the pronuclear transfer technique in in-vitro fertilization is controversial. The pronuclear transfer was recently approved in the UK as a way of avoiding passing genetic diseases from mothers to their children. The process, called mitochondrial donation, which is what pronuclear transfer is intended to be used for, removes the unhealthy mitochondrial DNA of the mother that is believed to lead to children developing genetic diseases.

In an interview with BBC, Adam Balen of the British Fertility Society, said, "Pronuclear transfer is highly experimental and has not been properly evaluated or scientifically proven." In addition, issues regarding safety and the use of the technique in private, unregulated clinics are concerning many healthcare professionals.

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