A new “three-parent” pregnancy has been attempted by Spanish researchers. The 32 year-old pregnant woman is Greek. She has already had four attempts at IVF, all of which have failed. Directed by Nuno Costa-Borges, researchers at Embryotool, University of Barcelona, have endeavoured to overcome her infertility using the “three-parent” VF technique. She is currently 27 weeks pregnant.
This technique consists of using sperm to fertilise an egg, the nucleus of which comes from one woman and the mitochondrial DNA from another. The initial aim was to create a baby genetically linked to the parents, without the mother passing on her genetic disease carried by the mitochondria to the baby. The first three-DNA pregnancy went to full-term in 2016 in Mexico.
This second pregnancy was announced on 17 January on the Parc Científic de Barcelona twitter account. On this occasion, researchers used the sperm to fertilise a donor’s egg, the nucleus DNA of which had been replaced by that of the mother.
The researchers do not intend to stop there: twenty-four women are being tested, and eight “three-parent” embryos are already frozen pending implantation. As the technique is banned in Spain, as in most countries, research will continue in Greece.
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