Skip to comments.Genetic 'MoT' For Disease Free Babies
Posted on 06/30/2009 6:04:53 PM PDT by Steelfish
Genetic 'MoT' for disease free babies
A genetic MOT which can help IVF couples screen embryos for hereditary diseases and have healthy babies could be available in the UK within a year.
Kate Devlin, Medical Correspondent in Amsterdam 30 Jun 2009
Doctors deny they are 'Frankensteins' bent on creating designer babies.
The technique, known as karyomapping, has the potential to spot virtually any inherited genetic disease.
It can also pick up chromosomal problems that might lead to Downs syndrome or prevent pregnancy.
Scientific trials are set to begin on the groundbreaking technique, which has been developed by British researchers and which they believe could eventually even eradicate some inherited conditions like Huntingtons Disease.
But the move will spark fears that the technology is moving towards creating designer babies, because it could theoretically be used to screen out non-serious conditions or help couples have babies with designer traits such as blue eyes.
However, its use would be heavily regulated in Britain and is likely to be limited to extremely serious inherited diseases.
The £2,500 procedure removes the need for geneticists to spend months developing a test for a specific gene mutation, a technique called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).
Last year the first child in Britain was born free from a breast cancer gene which raises the lifetime chance of developing the disease to 80 per cent, after doctors used PGD.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...