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Keyword: geneticdiagnosis

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  • Predicting eye colour from genes

    03/10/2009 12:40:36 PM PDT · by GOPGuide · 6 replies · 426+ views
    Genetic Future Blog ^ | March 10, 2009 | Daniel MacArthur
    In a recent post I noted that genetic tests to predict adult height are still a long way off being accurate; currently, known genetic variants can predict just over 5% of the variance in height, as opposed to 40% predicted using a simple algorithm based on the heights of both parents. The genetic complexity of height means that trying to screen embryos for this trait using pre-implantation genetic diagnosis is likely to be little more than an exercise in frustration. However, that's not true for all traits. In several recent posts I've mentioned eye colour as one relatively genetically simple...
  • Embryo screening should be mandatory (For Diseases)

    03/06/2009 11:18:15 AM PST · by GOPGuide · 23 replies · 701+ views
    Genetic Future ^ | March 6, 2009 | Daniel MacArthur
    Over at Opposing Views, bioethicist Jacob Appel argues that pre-implantation genetic screening for severe disease mutations should be compulsory for parents undergoing IVF. Appell dodges one obvious criticism of this suggestion - that it unacceptably limits parental autonomy - by pointing out that "Western societies have long acknowledged that parental authority cannot undermine the medical interests of a child". As examples, Appell cites the facts that Jehovah's Witnesses cannot deny their own children blood transfusions, however strong their religious opposition, and that "American courts consistently compel pediatric cancer therapy, even when parents object". Given these precedents, Appell argues that allowing...
  • "Designer baby" doctor no longer offering embryo screening for cosmetic traits

    03/06/2009 7:45:49 AM PST · by GOPGuide · 7 replies · 434+ views
    Genetic Future ^ | March 5, 2009 | Daniel MacArthur
    Last month I mentioned a US fertility clinic that was offering couples undergoing IVF the opportunity to screen their embryos for sex, and for genes associated with "cosmetic" traits such as eye and hair colour. I used this as an opportunity to note that the genetic complexity of many traits (e.g. height, also discussed yesterday) would make it highly unlikely that embryo screening would be effective for these, although for hair and eye colour such screening is certainly feasible. The media coverage of this fertility clinic - run by reproductive endocrinologist Jeff Steinberg (pictured) - predictably sparked a wave of...
  • Mandatory Embryo Genetic Testing isn't Eugenics, it's Smart Science (Saving Tax Dollars)

    03/06/2009 6:42:06 AM PST · by GOPGuide · 32 replies · 435+ views
    Opposing Views ^ | March 04, 2009 | Opposing Views
    When physicians at University College in London last month announced the birth of what they described as the world's first "breast-cancer gene-free baby," a designer infant pre-screened for the BRCA1 cancer gene, critics focused public debate on the question of whether or not such screening should be permitted. Yet as genetic screening becomes increasingly routine, it is the opposite question that will likely raise far more ethical challenges: If pre-implantation genetic diagnosis during in vitro fertilization (IVF) can successfully prevent children from developing serious illnesses, why shouldn't such screening be required? Women who carry the BRCA1 gene have approximately an...
  • Couples offered designer babies (PGD Embryo Screening)

    01/17/2009 4:47:51 PM PST · by GOPGuide · 11 replies · 1,330+ views
    Scotland on Sunday ^ | 18 January 2009 | Kate Foster
    HUNDREDS of Scottish couples are being offered a revolutionary screening service to create "designer babies" free of deadly genetic diseases. The treatment – which could be funded by the NHS – involves taking a single cell from an embryo created using IVF and testing it for one of 200 rogue genes behind inherited conditions including cancers and cystic fibrosis. The private clinic in ADVERTISEMENTGlasgow will then implant only embryos guaranteed free of a specific genetic fault, charging £5,500 for each round of treatment. It is the first time such a service has been offered north of the border, and last...
  • Autism screening test on unborn babies raises fears of rise in abortions (PGD Screening)

    01/12/2009 4:10:10 PM PST · by GOPGuide · 44 replies · 1,846+ views
    Dailymail ^ | 12th January 2009 | Daniel Bates
    Babies exposed to high levels of the male hormone testosterone in the womb have an increased risk of autistic traits, groundbreaking research has found. The study found children who were exposed to higher levels of the chemical during foetal development are more likely to display autistic traits from an early age. The discovery takes prenatal screening for autism a significant step closer, raising the possibility that mothers could terminate babies with the condition. It also, more controversially, opens the way for a cure. Researchers made the discovery after monitoring the progress of 235 children whose mothers underwent amniotic fluid tests...