A baby was just brought into the world — born of three parents.
This isn’t the first time. It was actually done back in the 1990s, and young Alana Saarinen is doing just fine. But it’s the first time the mother had a pre-existing condition (Leigh Syndrome), which was edited out of her mitochondria and replaced with the third person’s healthy genes.
Had the doctors not utilized this gene-editing technology, the baby wouldn’t have survived.
The splicing took place under the guidance of Dr. John Zhang at the New Hope Fertility Clinic in New York City, and the baby was born in Mexico, where there are no laws governing the procedure.
For many of us, the news immediately brings to mind a dystopian sci-fi thriller. But this sort of work may eventually be necessary for all human survival. Applications for this technology extend beyond current maladies and simply selecting a child's eye color or height.
In the future, the air we breathe will be more polluted, the temperatures will be hotter and the strains of antibiotic-resistant superbugs will be more rampant. Babies may need to be genetically designed to be able to endure these inevitable conditions.
It's for this reason that historian Yuval Noah Harari believes that we are among the final generations of Homo sapiens.
It sounds scary to say (or maybe kinda special), but we can’t wait to evolve to survive the conditions we created. Change is the only constant.