The first IVF baby to be screened using a procedure that can read every letter of the human genome has been born in the U.S.
Connor Levy was born on 18 May after a Philadelphia couple had cells from their IVF embryos sent to specialists in Oxford, who checked them for genetic abnormalities. The process helped doctors at the couple’s fertility clinic in the U.S. select embryos with the right number of chromosomes. These have a much higher chance of leading to a healthy baby.
The birth demonstrates how next-generation sequencing (NGS), which was developed to read whole genomes quickly and cheaply, is poised to transform the selection of embryos in IVF clinics. Though scientists only looked at chromosomes — the structures that hold genes — on this occasion, the falling cost of whole genome sequencing means doctors could soon read all the DNA of IVF embryos before choosing which to implant in the mother. (More)