Britain expands embryo screening

May 11, 2006

Britain's fertility watchdog agency has approved expanded screening of embryos to include genetic links to ovarian, breast and colon cancers.

At a meeting in Belfast, the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority said pre-implantation genetic diagnosis could be done for the three cancers as part of in-vitro fertilization.

The agency already allows testing for certain gene mutations linked to serious conditions that occur in early childhood, such as cystic fibrosis and some cancers, The Independent reported.

The procedure entails removing a single cell from a fertilized embryo once it starts to divide in the laboratory. If genetic tests on that cell are normal, the embryo is implanted into the womb and the pregnancy continues normally.

HFEA Chairwoman Suzi Leather denied the approval was part of a slippery slope toward genetic testing for genetic characteristics.

"This is not about opening the door to wholesale genetic testing," she said. "This is about considering a particular group of genetic conditions to be sufficiently serious to merit the use of PGD embryo testing."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Brain-dwelling worm in UK man's head sequenced

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Central biobank for drug research

Sep 01, 2014

For the development of new drugs it is crucial to work with stem cells, as these allow scientists to study the effects of new active pharmaceutical ingredients. But it has always been difficult to derive ...

Recommended for you

Brain-dwelling worm in UK man's head sequenced

2 hours ago

For the first time, the genome of a rarely seen tapeworm has been sequenced. The genetic information of this invasive parasite, which lived for four years in a UK resident's brain, offers new opportunities ...

US seniors' health poorest, global survey shows

3 hours ago

(HealthDay)— Seniors in America have more chronic health problems and take more medications than seniors in 10 other industrialized countries do, according to a new global survey. The United States also ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.