Feeds

British mum starts baking 'cancer-free' baby

Take the good. Throw out the bad

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.