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First clinical trials for controversial ‘3-parent’ fertility treatment begin

| | January 31, 2019

[A] 32-year-old Greek woman, who’d previously undergone two operations for endometriosis and four unsuccessful cycles of IVF, once again returned to the surgical table to have a thin needle threaded through her vagina to retrieve eggs from her ovaries. But unlike in her earlier IVF attempts, this time fertility specialists did not inseminate them with her partner’s sperm right away. Instead the doctors at the Institute of Life, in Athens, took a donor’s eggs, stripped them of their nuclei, and inserted the patient’s DNA in their place. Then the modified eggs were inseminated. The resulting embryos—a combination of genetic material from three people—were transferred to the Greek woman’s womb, leading to her first successful pregnancy.

She is now 28 weeks along with a baby boy, according to a Spanish company called Embryotools.

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Their pilot study in Greece will eventually enroll 25 women under the age of 40 who’ve failed to conceive using conventional methods of IVF. It’s the largest test yet of the controversial new method of procreation.

Unlike conventional IVF, which is essentially a numbers game to get a viable embryo, MRT promises to actually improve the quality of older eggs, which can take on damage as they age. If it proves to be safe and effective—a big if—it could radically change women’s prospects of having children later in life.

Read full, original post: A controversial fertility treatment gets its first big test

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