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JUST IN: Babies with 3 Biological Parents the Hope of Mankind's Future?

Dec 15, 2016 08:11 AM EST
Mitochondrial Replacement can be the future of human reproduction
Mitochondrial Replacement can be the future of human reproduction

(Photo : Getty Images)

This year, the field of medicine has taken a giant leap of faith as the first baby with three biological parents was born healthily and successfully. The announcement was a pretty big surprise which garnered both positive and negative feedback from many communities all over the world. But what does it mean to have three biological parents? 

A method widely known as mitochondrial replacement has been in the works for the past few decades. This is a process for which faulty mitochondria from a mother's egg is replaced by mitochondria from a donor's egg and then mixed in with the father's sperm. Though it would not necessarily entail involving two egg donor and one sperm donor, it is more of the mother's egg, the father's sperm and an egg donor's DNA.

It could be the future of mankind as this kind of gene therapy is expected to cure any form of mitochondrial disease present in the newborn. However, this method is quite controversial as it could be a cause of significant genetic alterations that could be unnaturally passed on to future generations, a situation whose implication is still unknown.

This is why it was an entirely big surprise when a baby with three biological parents have been born in April of this year. The method of genetic replacement has not yet been approved in many places like the United States.

The Guardian reported that in February of 2015, there was a vote in the United Kingdom parliament whether to approve or deny the controversial three-parent mitochondrial replacement procedure. Many communities from both the medical field and the religious communities have provided their views regarding their support or disapproval of the new gene therapy. As an outcome, the U.K. Parliament has approved the method surprising many people all over the globe. 

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