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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
China to test recoverable moon orbiter
I'll have some rocks and a moon cheese pizza please, home delivery
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Vulture 2 spaceplane autopilot brain surgery a total success
LOHAN slips into some sexy bespoke mission parameters
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.