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Designer babies cost US$19000.

The latest news on this hot topic:

“Couples flock to the U.S. to choose gender through genetic diagnosis”.

Treatment cost in U.S. Clinics :US$ 19k

When the world is concerned over gender balance, the patients claim that it is to bring gender balance of their family.

” Thousands of couples flocking to U.S. to cash in on the disputed luxury of being able to dictate the sex of their nest baby.

Parents from around the world including India are forking out around $19000 for a groundbreaking gender selection treatment offered by only a handful of U.S. clinics but banned in most countries.

Would you prefer a boy or a girl? has raised ethical concerns and fears that it could worsen an already worrying gender imbalance plaguing counties such as India and China.

More than 50% of the couple that come to Dr.Steinberg for help are from outside U.S. like China, Hong Kong,Singapore,Thailand,Japan,Germany,Britan and Canada.

Using techniques made possible by the discovery of the human genome, eggs are removed from the mother after she undergoes fertility treatment to multiply them and are fertilised with the would be father’s sperm in a laboratory dish.

One of the cells in each embryo is then removed to allow scientists to determine from its DNA whether the embryo is male or female before one of the desired gender is implanted into the mother’s womb to gestate.

“In some places, the impact for sex ratios would be pretty dramatic if people had the power to chose the gender of their child” said Stanford University bioethicist David Magnus.

He however stressed that because PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) was an expensive and complex technique, it was unlikely to be widely used in the developing world or even in the U.S.

Denial:
Dr.Steinberg also denied that the technique was the start of a trend towards designer babies or even human cloning.”

This article appeared in “The Hindu” dated 16th May 2006

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May 16, 2006 - Posted by | Science and technology

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