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Couple have baby following new IVF technique

7 February 2011
Appeared in BioNews 594

The first UK baby to have been conceived following a new IVF screening technique was born in December. Baby Elliott's parents tried to conceive for a decade before they received the combined genetic and embryo screening. Early results using this combined method suggest it increases the chances of a viable IVF pregnancy from 30 to 70 percent.

The combined method uses a screening technique called array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) to check an IVF embryo has the correct number of chromosomes before transfer to the mother's womb. Chromosomal faults can cause miscarriages and IVF cycles to fail.

The array CGH results were cross-checked against DNA samples from Elliott's parents - a genetic screening technique called 'parental support'. This allowed doctors to see whether embryo abnormalities came from the mother or the father.

'Parental support' identified chromosomal abnormalities not identified by array CGH alone, said Dr Mark Sedler, consultant fertility specialist at the Care Fertility Centre in Manchester, which performed the technique. He added: 'This has never been done before. It can tell us whether the abnormality comes from the mother, from the father, or from both'.

The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) is currently considering launching a pan-European trial to assess the evidence for the combined technique.

Couple thank new technique for baby
UK Associated Press |  2 February 2011
'Miracle' boy born thanks to new IVF technique
Daily Telegraph |  2 February 2011
'We owe our miracle baby Elliott to new advanced DNA screening technique'
Daily Mail |  2 February 2011
15 November 2010 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis 
UK-based researchers have developed a new screening technique which could double or triple IVF success rates. The new test allows for any chromosomal abnormalities to be detected in embryos before they are implanted into the mother....
19 April 2010 - by Ruth Pidsley 
A team of researchers at Newcastle University in the UK has been successful in attempts to transfer genetic material from one newly fertilised human egg to another without carrying over the egg's mitochondria (the energy-producing structures of a cell)...
19 October 2009 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza 
A new pre-implantation genetic screening technique may improve the chances of conception for patients undergoing IVF, a recent study reveals. At present IVF success rates are at around 30 per cent but by screening embryos prior to implantation this can be improved by avoiding common problems which can result in miscarriage or the embryo failing to implant....
18 September 2000 - by BioNews 
A team of US scientists has found that assisted hatching, a technique used in fertility clinics to help embryos implant into the womb, could increase the chance of monozygotic (identical) twins. The scientists, based at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, published their results in the latest issue...
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