It is now possible to have human embryos produced via in vitro (test tube) fertilization tested for many different genetic diseases such as Huntington’s disease, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell anemia, a form of Alzheimer’s disease, and BRCA1 associated cancers among others. Those embryos that have the gene for any of these diseases will be discarded and only those embryos lacking the disease-causing genes will be used for implantation into the potential mother. The technique used to do this is called “pre-implantation genetic diagnosis” (PIGD). It is also possible for sperm/egg donor banks to carry out a fertilization event on paper before it is done in vitro. This way prospective parents can reduce the risk of having a child with some genetic disorder. Weigh in on this topic pointing out what you think are the pros and cons of this developing and ever-improving technology.
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5 years ago
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