Aug 20, 2017

China rushes into embryo selection

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, genetics, government

China’s five year plan to eliminate birth defects by preimplantation genetic diagnosis of embryos.

Gene-editing with CRISPR has been in the headlines over the past month and touted as a way of eliminating genetic diseases. But the cruder and cheaper technique of preimplantation genetic diagnosis does the same. And it is exploding in China. According to a feature in Nature, fertility doctors there “have been pursuing a more aggressive, comprehensive and systematic path towards its use there than anywhere else”.

The government’s current five-year plan for economic development has made reproductive medicine, including PGD, a priority. In 2004, only four clinics in the whole country were licensed to perform PGD; now there are 40.

Very little ethical push-back exists.

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