More affordable method of PGD has been tested

The first "test-tube" child who had passed a new, more accessible method of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) was born in the U.S.. The kid Connor was born on May 18 in Philadelphia. His parents, 36- years old Marybeth Scheidts and 41-years old David Levy hadn’t been able to conceive a child  neither by a natural way nor with the IVF for a long. After a lengthy observations Degena Wells of the University of Oxford (UK), Marybeth and her husband were included in the international program of clinical trials of the new technology- next-generation sequencing (NGS). A married couple was involved in this program because of suspicion that their embryos (obtained as a result of natural conception and the IVF treatment as well) have chromosomal abnormalities that do not allow them to implant in the uterus.

As a result of a standard IVF procedure thirteen embryos had been received, the cells of which were sent to Oxford for genetic screening. It was found that fears of scientists were not groundless: despite the fact that embryos looked quite normal, the right set of chromosomes had only three of them. It was found after sequencing (decryption) of the genome, which allowed to count the number of chromosomes in the embryo and choose the "right" one. Later, one of the healthy embryos was successfully implanted in the uterus of Sheydts, and nine months later a little Connor was born.


As we know, pre-implantation genetic diagnostics is a quite time-consuming and expensive procedure. It is now used mainly in cases when there is a high risk that a child with a particular anomaly will appear (if there are inherited diseases in the family or in case of the mature age of parents, etc.), but even in this case not everyone can afford it. The new technique, NGS, is easier and allows to reduce significantly a probability of birth of a child with abnormalities such as Down's syndrome, or like in case of Levi-Sheydts’ family- to select embryos that can be implanted into the uterus and develop normally.

The first "test-tube" child who had passed a new, more accessible method of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) was born in the U.S.. The kid Connor was born on May 18 in Philadelphia. His parents, 36- years old Marybeth Scheidts and 41-years old David Levy hadn’t been able to conceive a child  neither by a natural way nor with the IVF for a long. After a lengthy observations Degena Wells of the University of Oxford (UK), Marybeth and her husband were included in the international program of clinical trials of the new technology- next-generation sequencing (NGS). A married couple was involved in this program because of suspicion that their embryos (obtained as a result of natural conception and the IVF treatment as well) have chromosomal abnormalities that do not allow them to implant in the uterus.

As a result of a standard IVF procedure thirteen embryos had been received, the cells of which were sent to Oxford for genetic screening. It was found that fears of scientists were not groundless: despite the fact that embryos looked quite normal, the right set of chromosomes had only three of them. It was found after sequencing (decryption) of the genome, which allowed to count the number of chromosomes in the embryo and choose the "right" one. Later, one of the healthy embryos was successfully implanted in the uterus of Sheydts, and nine months later a little Connor was born.

As we know, pre-implantation genetic diagnostics is a quite time-consuming and expensive procedure. It is now used mainly in cases when there is a high risk that a child with a particular anomaly will appear (if there are inherited diseases in the family or in case of the mature age of parents, etc.), but even in this case not everyone can afford it. The new technique, NGS, is easier and allows to reduce significantly a probability of birth of a child with abnormalities such as Down's syndrome, or like in case of Levi-Sheydts’ family- to select embryos that can be implanted into the uterus and develop normally.

It is important to note that the price of NGS is tens of times lower than PGD’s one and, moreover, results of NGS can be received much quicker, which greatly increases the commercial attractiveness of the method and its chances to become widespread. I think that advantages of this method may make it useful for couples who have decided to have a baby in a "dangerous" age when there is an increased risk of giving birth to a child with abnormalities related with the violation of number of chromosomes in the genome. This simple but effective procedure may help women who had several unsuccessful IVF circles to increase greatly chances to conceive a child.