Share article:
Share article:

Baby born using three people’s DNA

© Belga
© Belga

The mother of the “test-tube” baby born with three parents has heralded “an important scientific breakthrough”. The baby was born in Greece on Tuesday. The mother said the new technology had “given her the greatest chance of her life” after “four failed IVF attempts.”
32-year-old Matina Karavokyri from Greece explained that this method of assisted conception involved her genetic material being implanted into a donor ovule, which had had its own genetic material removed. 

“In fact, it’s a bit like we put my ovule in a buggy so it could travel to the uterus”, she said during an interview with the Greek press agency ANA. 

Matina Karavokyri gave birth to her son at a clinic in the outskirts of Athens on Tuesday. He weighed 2.960kg. 

This technology is still controversial. The Greek –Spanish team behind the procedure, headed by Greek embryologist Panagiotis Psathas, transferred genetic material containing the mother’s chromosomes into a donor ovule (from which the genetic material had been emptied). 

The fertilisation was done in vitro using the father’s sperm and the embryo was then placed in the mother’s uterus. According to someone close to the family, the mother is infertile due to “issues with her endometrium”. 

“There is nothing from a third person in him, he’s 100% our child”, the young woman said. She did add that she was “grateful” to the donor. 

“I didn’t think twice when they offered me this new method”, she said. “It was the greatest chance of my life. My dream has come true,” she beamed. 

The method had already been used in Mexico in 2016, to avoid transmission of a maternal hereditary illness. 

“For the first time in history, the inalienable right to become a mother using your own genetic material has become a reality for every single woman,” Dr Psathas said on Thursday. 

Dr Psathas’ Spanish teammate, Dr Nuno Costa-Borges, spoke of a “revolution in assisted reproduction”. Dr Nuno-Borges is the co-founder of the Embryotools centre in Spain. He celebrated this “exceptional result, which will allow innumerable women to realise their dream of becoming a mother using their own genetic material.” 

But there are some ethical questions. “The risks associated with this technique are not entirely known, but are considered acceptable when treating mitochondrial diseases. But not for this situation,” said Tim Child, a professor at Oxford University. 

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Limiting private contacts ‘needed to fight autumn wave’, expert warns
The Consultative Committee announced it is introducing a handful of measures in public spaces to control the quickening spread of the coronavirus, ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
UN issues strong warning ahead of climate change summit in Glasgow
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...
Belgium’s decision on possible third shot postponed until Saturday
The decision on how Belgium will proceed with the roll-out of third shots of the coronavirus vaccine has been postponed until Saturday.  The news ...
Experts and politicians respond to new coronavirus measures
The handful of measures (re-)introduced by Belgium's Consultative Committee on Tuesday in response to the worsening coronavirus situation have had a ...
New fraudulent e-mails circulating in Belgium
A warning has been put out about new phishing e-mails that have been circulating since last Saturday and are sent from what could appear to be an ...
Belgian ‘Space Bakery’ project highlighted at World Expo in Dubai
The Puratos Space Bakery project is taking centre stage at the Belgian pavilion in Dubai, where the World Expo is taking place. This week is ...