World's 1st IVF baby born using New Embryo Screening Technique

Jul 8, 2013 17:38 IST

World’s 1st IVF baby is born in US in June 2013 thus becoming the world's first test tube baby to be born using a new low cost "next-generation sequencing" IVF technique.

The method, through which the baby was born, uses the latest DNA sequencing a technique which aims to increase in-vitro fertilisation success rates while being more reasonable for couples and lowering the risk of miscarriages.
The birth of baby using IVF sets an example to show next-generation sequencing can be used to pick the embryos created by IVF that are most likely to lead to successful pregnancies.

Use of New Embryo screening technique


• The approach can identify embryos with the correct number of chromosomes and may cut hundreds of pounds off the cost of embryo screening.
• The majority of embryos produced by IVF aren't able to lead to successful pregnancies, and through embryo screening techniques scientists have sought to find ways of identifying the embryos that should be implanted to give the greatest chance of success.
• Having an incorrect number of chromosomes usually prevents embryos from producing a pregnancy. Until recently, such abnormalities have been hard to detect as they do not affect the appearance of embryos under the microscope. But through IVF, the desired abnormalities rate is quite low.
• Many of the embryos produced during infertility treatments have no chance of becoming a baby because they carry lethal genetic abnormalities.
• Next-generation sequencing improves our ability to detect these abnormalities and helps us identify the embryos with the best chances of producing a viable pregnancy. Potentially, this should lead to improved IVF success rates and a lower risk of miscarriage.
• Recently, a number of trials of various chromosome screening methods have shown that they can improve IVF success rates by around 30 per cent.
• Results from randomised clinical trials carried out during the last year have suggested that most IVF patients would benefit from embryo chromosome screening. However, the costs of these genetic tests are relatively high, putting them beyond the reach of many patients.
• Next-generation sequencing could make chromosome testing more widely available, improving access by cutting the costs.
The researchers' approach involves sequencing DNA from multiple embryos all at the same time. Short DNA tags or 'barcodes' added to the genetic material from each individual embryo mean that the results could be identified uniquely and mapped back to the right embryo.
• In the future, it should be possible to use the approach to check for chromosomal abnormalities and any serious inherited disorders at the same time.

About In Vitro Fertilisation

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a process by which an egg is fertilised by sperm outside the body: in vitro. IVF is a major treatment for infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed. The process basically involves monitoring a woman's ovulatory process, removing ovum or ova (egg or eggs) from the woman's ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a fluid medium in a laboratory. When a woman's natural cycle is monitored to collect a naturally selected ovum (egg) for fertilisation, it is known as natural cycle IVF.

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