Jumat, 19 September 2008

Gender Selection Nears Perfection

In Human Biology 5th ed., pp. 396-397, we talk about some of the ethical and technical aspects of gender selection of a baby, and we mentioned sperm sorting followed by artificial insemination as a way of increasing a couple’s chances of having a boy to over 75%, a girl to over 90%.

Well, if those odds still aren’t good enough, now gender can be selected with essentially 100% accuracy. Basically, it’s a variation of the standard in vitro fertilization (IVF) technique: 1) harvest eggs from a woman according to the standard IVF protocol, 2) fertilize the eggs in vitro, 3) grow the embryos to the 8-16 cell stage, 4) Remove a cell for DNA analysis to determine the presence or absence of the Y chromosome, 5) implant only embryos of the desired sex. Bingo, it’s a girl! (Or a boy).

Removing a cell for DNA analysis doesn’t affect the ultimate development of the fetus because at that stage none of the cells have begun to differentiate. In fact IVF with DNA analysis is already being done to screen out certain rare but debilitating genetic diseases, where the risk of these diseases is considered high. But before a couple chooses to use it to select gender, they should consider that it’s expensive, it’s invasive, and some would say it goes against nature.

Where do your students stand on this? Are they aware that there are clinics advertising on the Internet that are routinely doing it? (Google “IVF” and “gender selection”).

0 komentar:

Posting Komentar

Copyright 2010 Biology Blog Education. All rights reserved.
Themes by Ex Templates Blogger Templates l Home Recordings l Studio Rekaman