The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research were just awarded $2.9 million from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) to study the accuracy—and ethics—of polygenic embryo selection or “PES.” This includes the genetic testing and selection of embryos generated from in vitro fertilization (IVF) which, of course, is associated with the very controversial “designer baby debate.” This technology most recently was used to identify the risk for complex diseases of adulthood hence the importance of the NHGRI funding to the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. The four-year grant is led by Todd Lencz, Ph.D., Feinstein Institute, in collaboration with Shai Carmi, Ph.D., Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Gabriel Lazaro-Munoz, Ph.D., of Baylor College of Medicine.
Identify Probability of Common Disease
For decades, reproductive geneticists could identify rare, serious genetic disorders like Down syndrome or cystic fibrosis prior to the implantation of embryos in women undergoing IVF. But through PES, geneticists aim to evaluate embryos for more common diseases that may (or may not) emerge later in life, such as diabetes, sch...
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