To overcome IVF pregnacy failures of nearly 80 percent, scientists for the first time used whole genome sequencing to select a healthy embryo, and a baby boy has been delivered in US.
The boy, Connor Levi, was been born following the revolutionary IVF technique that allowed doctors to screen large tracts of his DNA for chromosome defects that would have prevented the embryo from implanting successfully into the mother's womb.
The defects that affect successful IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) procedures are inherited genetic disorders, chromosome abnormalities and mutations.
Normally, picking the right embryo is random but with the new technique the doctors could pick three healthy embryos from the 13 embryos produced.
The whole genome sequencing to test for defects in IVF embryos was necessary as abnormal chromosomes are one of the single biggest problems that prevent IVF embryos from successfully implanting and develop into a healthy pregnancy.
Dagan Wells of the Biomedical Research Centre at Oxford University, who helped to develop the technique, revelead today that the boy was born a month ago to parents living in Pennsylvania in the United States. The baby is healthy and normal.
The technique, called 'next generation sequencing', uses DNA machines to decipher the genetic code of millions of strands of DNA taken from a single cell of the embryo extracted when it is about five days old.
(with agencies inputs)