A second look at PGD
A technique for detecting abnormalities in embryos may have been giving misleading results, according to papers presented at a Montreal conference of US and Canadian fertility doctors. In pre- implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) one cell from an eight-cell embryo is extracted and examined for abnormalities. If an embryo appears to be healthy, it is implanted in the mother’s womb. If not, it is usually discarded. Children born after the technique appear to be healthy, although there are no long-term studies.
However, it now appears that defective embryos are able to correct defects as they mature. One American experiment discovered that about half of the cells in “defective” embryos were normal by the blastocyst stage. This suggested two things to the fertility specialists. First, that defective embryos might be a viable source of embryonic stem cells, and second, that many embryos discarded as defective could have developed into healthy babies.
One initiative to emerge from the meeting is a US database to track the safety of PGD. American clinics are not presently required to report their data.
- How long can you put off seeing the doctor because of lockdowns? - December 3, 2021
- House of Lords debates assisted suicide—again - October 28, 2021
- Spanish government tries to restrict conscientious objection - October 28, 2021
A first in France: a trans mum and a trans dad
Trigger warning: if you are easily confused by gender pronouns, this story from France may cause heart palpitations. February 19...
Nigerian power couple convicted in London over organ trafficking plot
In May last year, a young Nigerian man stumbled into a police station into the English town of Staines, in...
Cease and desist: Dutch sperm donor who has fathered 550 children is being sued
A Dutch woman and a foundation for children of sperm donors are suing a Dutch man for fathering too many...
Should intractable mental illness make you eligible for euthanasia?
Canada is in the middle of a vigorous debate about whether incurable mental illness is grounds for Medical Assistance in...
Belgium to permit multiple gender ID changes
Belgium will permit people to change their gender identity as often as they want. The Minister of Justice, Vincent Van...
Nature’s foray into politics may have backfired
In the 2020 election, a swag of high-profile science journals, including Nature, Science, The Lancet, and the New England Journal...