The first IVF baby named Connor Levy was born in the US who has undergone an embryo selection using Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technique, which was developed to read whole genomes quickly and cheaply to select healthy embryos having no chromosomal abnormalities.
Though on this occasion scientists only looked at chromosomes — the structures that hold genes — the falling cost of whole-genome sequencing means doctors could soon read all the DNA of IVF embryos before choosing which to implant.
How this technology can help?
The chances of an embryo having the wrong number of chromosomes rise with the mother’s age, and potentially with the father’s. Most of the time, embryos with abnormal chromosomes fail to implant. Those that do are usually miscarried. The portion that survive are born with genetic disorders, such as Down’s syndrome. Next-generation sequencing could enable IVF clinics to determine the chances of children developing diseases. This technology can prevent this by reading the genome of the embryo and telling which are with defective chromosomes or possessing the risk of future genetic diseases thus aiding in selection of healthy embryo for further development through IVF.