pre-natal genetic diagnosis

Genetic Future

Category archives for pre-natal genetic diagnosis

In the last century infant mortality has declined precipitously in the Western world, thanks in large part to the development of antibiotics and vaccination. Yet as the suffering and death from infectious disease has reduced, the burden from genetic disease has become proportionately greater: currently around 20% of all infant deaths in developed countries are…

Disclaimer: my wife and I have both received and used free testing kits from Counsyl. Counsyl is a rather enigmatic player in the personal genomics field: apart from a brief mention in Steven Pinker’s excellent NY Times piece over a year ago and an even briefer post on a Newsweek blog late last year, the…

For those who have been too distracted by swine flu to notice: shares of the biotech company Sequenom have plummeted by 77% after the company announced that the extremely promising initial results for its SEQureDx Down syndrome test – which is designed to detect Down syndrome fetuses using blood samples from pregnant women – were…

Associated Press reports that Germany will likely soon pass regressive laws limiting the use of genetic testing: The German parliament approved legislation Friday limiting the use of genetic testing in an effort to prevent the technology’s abuse. The law, which was debated for more than seven years, must still go before the upper house of…

There are a couple of things I didn’t explain very well in my previous post about the strange case of the 13-year-old girl suing a sperm bank using product liability law, on the grounds that the sperm used to conceive her carried a genetic defect resulting in her mental retardation. First and foremost, what’s with…

New Scientist reports that a 13-year-old girl with Fragile X Syndrome – a severe genetic disorder – is suing the sperm bank that provided the sperm that led to her conception. Curiously, the legal issue hinges on “a product liability law more commonly associated with manufacturing defects, such as faulty car brakes”: Donovan does not…

Yesterday I pointed to an article by New Scientist editor Michael Le Page advocating routine carrier testing for severe disease genes in parents-to-be, followed by IVF and pre-implantation genetic screening of embryos for couples unfortunate enough to both be carrying mutations in the same gene. I asked for well-reasoned objections to this approach from commenters.…

A couple of weeks ago I pointed to an article by bioethicist Jacob Appel arguing that genetic screening for severe disease mutations should be mandatory for parents undergoing IVF, and that not doing so is tantamount to child abuse. Today the same theme is taken up by New Scientist biology editor Michael Le Page, but…

Fan Liu, Kate van Duijn, Johannes R. Vingerling, Albert Hofman, AndrĂ© G. Uitterlinden, A. Cecile J.W. Janssens, Manfred Kayser (2009). Eye color and the prediction of complex phenotypes from genotypes Current Biology, 19 (5) DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.01.027 In a recent post I noted that genetic tests to predict adult height are still a long way off…

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…