October
18
 

New test for defects in unborn children

Hong Kong scientists report that they may have discovered an easier way to test for foetal birth defects. In an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Professor Dennis Lo says that he has been able to identify traces of foetal DNA in the mother's blood. This will make it very easy to assess the health of a child without risking a miscarriage with amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling. At the moment, the technique is quite laborious, but new technology should simplify it.

This development could pose some ethical conundrums. If it becomes widely available, it will certainly be used to detect and abort more children with birth defects. It could also be used for sex selection. Parents could also obtain a genetic profile of their baby and see whether it will be susceptible to a genetic disease at some stage in its life.


comments powered by Disqus
 

 Search BioEdge

 Subscribe to BioEdge newsletter
rss Subscribe to BioEdge RSS feed

 Best of the web

 Recent Posts
Canadian bioethicists call for organ donor euthanasia
14 Jan 2017
Sperm and eggs grown in a Petri dish could revolutionise reproduction
14 Jan 2017
Dutch IVF clinic tries hard, could do better
14 Jan 2017
Destination Laos: the ever-changing surrogacy business changes again
14 Jan 2017
“Anti-psychiatry” gets official recognition at U of Toronto
14 Jan 2017