Feeds

British mum starts baking 'cancer-free' baby

Take the good. Throw out the bad

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The UK's first made-to-order baby has sprouted in London, according to a report in The Times.

With the aid of genetics specialists, a woman has been able to make sure that her baby does not inherit a gene that might trigger a form a eye cancer. The lass - who has requested anonymity - and her husband are the first to tap a change in the laws around embryo screening. Previous rules dictated that mothers-to-be could only screen for genes guaranteed to lead to disease. In the case of the eye cancer, close to 90 per cent of the people with the gene actually get cancer, the paper reported.

"Although they did not have fertility problems, the woman and her partner created embryos by IVF," The Times said. "This allowed doctors to remove a cell and test it for the cancer gene, so only unaffected embryos were transferred to her womb."

The mother was treated at University College Hospital in London.

This area of genetic experimentation is not without controversy.

Plenty of people contend that it's wrong to filter out "tainted" embryos that may never develop the diseases later in life. In addition, doctors can now treat a number of the diseases being screened, and many of the babies would lead wonderful, fruitful lives before succumbing to illness.

On the other hand, you can, er, use the screening to secure a better chance of getting a baby without cancer.

You can expect the ethical questions around genetic engineering to increase in the coming years.

Researchers are currently on a Moore's Law type of path with regard to decoding the human genome. In 1989, for example, it cost close to $10 to read a single letter of genetic code. In 2005, researchers were able to churn out a letter of genetic code for just a tenth of a cent.

Similarly, scientists once doubted whether they'd be able to deliver an entire humane genome in their lifetimes. Now, centers such as the Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, California - near Silicon Valley - produce the equivalent of a humane genome per month.

At present, it would cost between $5m and $10m to have a lab produce a a version of your, unique genetic code. Increased automation in the decoding process and lower material costs should reduce that figure in the coming years.

You can read more in The Times here. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.