Scientists from the United States have produced the world’s first baby born with “three parents”
The controversial procedure was carried out in Mexico after US scientists crossed the border to the country.
The method – which incorporates DNA from three patients – is only legally approved in the UK.
But US scientists have told how they travelled to Mexico to escape regulation, resulting in five-month old Abrahim Hassan, who was born using the new technique.
The child was born to Ibtisam Shaban and Mahmoud Hassan, from Jordan, who had been trying to start a family for almost 20 years.
Abrahim’s mother, Ibtisam Shaban, carries genes for Leigh syndrome, a fatal disorder that affects the developing nervous system.
The breakthrough came about using an approach called spindle nuclear transfer.
Scientists removed the nucleus from one of Shaban’s eggs and inserted it into a donor egg that had had its own nucleus removed.
The resulting egg – with nuclear DNA from Shaban and mitochondrial DNA from a donor – was then fertilised with Hassan’s sperm.
The team, led by John Zhang used this approach to create five embryos, only one of which developed normally. This embryo was implanted in Shaban and Abrahim was born nine months later.
The method has not been approved in the US, so Zhang went to Mexico instead, where he says “there are no rules”. Defending his decision, he said: “To save lives is the ethical thing to do”.
The couple had a long history of fertility problems and miscarriage.