Reprogenetics is a company that offers the following service.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis consists of the biopsy of a single cell per embryo, followed by its genetic diagnosis through different techniques (FISH, PCR, or CGH), and the subsequent replacement to the patient of those embryos classified by genetic diagnosis as normal.Other tests may be offered soon including predisposition for diabetes and other genetic diseases.
Reprogenetics provides PGD analysis to IVF centers, including diagnosis of aneuploidy for advanced maternal age (such as Down's syndrome), repeated IVF failure, recurrent spontaneous abortions, chromosome translocations and inversions, as well as for gene defects such as Cystic fibrosis, fragile X, Myotonic Dystrophy, Thalasaemia, Tay Sachs, and others. We can also provide an experienced embryologist to perform embryo biopsy and cell processing.
The research director of Reprogenetics was interviewed for an article that appeared today on the Nature website [Gene testing of embryos needs guiding]
Last week, at a meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in San Francisco, California, researchers cautioned that they do not yet advocate this use of genetic tests. But as the technology advances, consumer demand is likely to overwhelm societal ethical qualms. "If people think they can make their babies healthier at year one, year two, or in utero, they will do it," says Jacques Cohen, research director at Reprogenetics, a genetic-testing company in West Orange, New Jersey.I assume this is a profit-making company. I wonder why Nature chooses to rely on the opinion of someone who has a vested interest in the technology? Especially someone who has an opinion like that?
Cohen says that as the understanding of disease genetics progresses, use of tests that seem controversial now may become more acceptable in the future: "If you had the chance to decrease your child's risk of a disease like diabetes and you didn't, society would blame you."
What can he be thinking? Does he think that the average American in the future will be forced to undergo in vitro fertilization to avoid being sued by their children?
[Hat Tip: The Sciphu Weblog: This pisses me off a little]