History of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

The history of preimplantation genetic diagnosis is a short, but influential one. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis allows doctors to screen embryos that may or may not have a genetic disorder. Its purpose is to ensure a healthy embryo is selected before implantation, and its risk of genetic disorders will decrease.

Early Studies

In 1968, researchers Robert Edwards and David Gardner first reported the success of sexing rabbit blastocysts. This was the first influential step in the process of preimplantation genetic diagnosis. In about 10 years later, the medical field had its first in vitro fertilization. With the invention of in vitro fertilization, preimplantation genetic diagnosis had a new purpose, to select genetically healthy embryos for implantation.

It was not until 1990 when researchers were able to sex human embryos and receive its first preimplantation genetic diagnosis baby. Since then, with the advent of newer technologies to make the cost of preimplantation genetic diagnosis cheaper and faster, it is now more common. In 2002, preimplantation genetic diagnosis celebrated with the first thousand babies born with the process.

Despite ethical questioning of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, the process is still popular today and will continue to be on the rise as newer technologies are formed.