In 10 seconds? Researchers are proposing a new method to spot abnormal chromosome counts during in vitro fertilization. The non-invasive technique can help screen the genetic integrity of embryos’ before implantation and thus reduce the failure rate.

Why is it significant? Women under 35 choosing IVF have around a 60% chance to become pregnant after an embryo transfer, whereas for women over 40 the ratio drops to 20%. Around half of the failures are caused by abnormal chromosome counts in the embryos. Therefore, the ability to identify the embryos with these defects cuts this fail rate and improves the chances of giving birth to a healthy baby who will not develop certain diseases (example: autism and neuro-cognitive disabilities) later on. The  discovery allows us to avoid invasive testing, i.e. biopsies of the pre-implantation embryos grown in the lab. (Please note, we are describing the science and not taking a stand in the faith and ethical debate).

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