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Egg donation and DNA transfer
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Egg donation and DNA transfer

Egg donation means transferring your DNA to an individual that will not be your child. Donors should understand what are the ethical and moral concerns derived from this process. Nonetheless, a group of scientists at a Spanish fertility clinic have recently discovered that egg donor recipients still pass their DNA to the child.

To date, it has been thought that a fertilized egg, that is, an embryo, contained only DNA from the biological mother and the biological father. However, in the context of egg donation, DNA is considerably related to the phenomenon of epigenetics. In particular, they found that the fluid in the uterus of the pregnant woman affects the development of the embryo.

In short, this means that the environmental conditions of the womb have a long-lasting influence on the baby-to-be. So, egg donor recipients do not pass their DNA to their children, but can alter in some way the genes of their child through epigenetics. This is the reason why, among other factors, leading a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy is so important.

By BSc, PhD (senior clinical embryologist), BSc, MSc (embryologist) and BA, MA (fertility counselor).
Last Update: 05/16/2017