Genetic Abnormality Screening

Karyomapping_fertility_blog_july09.JPG In a perfect world, genetic disorders would not exist. However, these abnormalities do exist and can often by transferred to children. To combat this from happening, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is used to genetically screen embryos for chromosomal abnormalities and remove those traits prior to uterine implantation. A new screening technique called Karyomapping may prove to be more efficient than PGD in screening for a larger variety of gene defects and chromosomal abnormalities. Singularity Hub discussed some of the advantages to this new procedure. "Karyomapping can identify any one of the 15,000 genetic conditions we know of, and it can currently take as little as 3 days. The technique currently costs the same as traditional PGD (a few thousand dollars), but the price will likely drop soon, bringing it within reach for more and more families." The long term effects of screening techniques such as Karyomapping or PGD have yet to be determined. It is possible that such screening may remove certain genetic traits from existence, such as Down Syndrome or even cancer. However, the ethical debate still exists on the extend that society should allow technology to alter natural conception.
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