Thursday, May 15, 2008

Genetic screening of embryos created for IVF

A favorable headline leads a creepy report:
Better Baby-Making: Picking the Healthiest Embryo for IVF

There's new hope for the more than 7 million American women (and their partners) who long for a child and are plagued by infertility. Australian researchers have developed a method for screening embryos created through in vitro fertilization (IVF) to select the ones that have the best shot of developing into healthy babies.

Connect the dots! Does the final paragraph sound weird to anybody else?

James Adjaye, a biologist at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, Germany, says that further work needs to be done before scientists can be sure that the genes found in the new work are actually indicate that an embryo will develop into a baby. "Once this has been achieved," he explains, "we will be seeing a new era of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis aimed at, identifying disease-free blastocysts, identifying developmentally competent blastocysts among a cohort developing in vitro and achieving single blastocyst transfer in order to avoid multiple births."

Any other undisirable qualities you'd like to screen out? Sex? Sexual orientation? Darker complexion?

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