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A look at the first baby born with DNA from 3 people




A 4-day-old newborn baby, who has been placed among empty baby beds by the photographer, lies in a baby bed in the maternity ward of a hospital.
A 4-day-old newborn baby, who has been placed among empty baby beds by the photographer, lies in a baby bed in the maternity ward of a hospital.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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The journal Fertility and Sterility revealed that a baby, with the help of controversial technologies, was born with DNA makeup from three people.  

The procedure that made it possible aims at helping parents with genetic disease to have healthy babies. A DNA sequence carried by the newborn’s mother has given her other children Leigh syndrome, a potentially fatal neurological disorder.

According to the research, her two previous children died from the disease at 8 months and 6 years. A U.S. team with operations in Mexico carried out the gene-treatment and embryo implantation because the technique is not yet approved by the FDA. The technique involves removing the disease causing DNA and injecting the healthy portion into the donor's egg. Although baby produced with this technique holds DNA from three people, the percentage from the egg donor remains minuscule.

Does disease removal justify gene-modification in humans? What's the next step for FDA as fertility technology becomes more advanced? What's the ethical implication when more than two sets of DNA are introduced into a newborn?

Guests:

Ronald Bailey, science correspondent for Reason Magazine; he authored the recent article, “First ‘three-parent’ baby born in Mexico

Stuart A. Newman, Ph.D, Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy at New York Medical College