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Embryo Genetic Screening Controversial - and Successful

by Dan Vergano,  USA Today,  Jan 10, 2009
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A "slippery slope" to "a world of eugenics," as bioethics authorities once worried, or a healthy life for a teenage girl?

Once at the center of a science controversy, Molly Nash, 15, represents the human answer to the debate over a genetic screening technique, " pre-implantation genetic diagnosis," (PGD) that made headlines a decade ago.

In Molly's case, her mother and father turned to PGD to pick out the embryo implanted to give birth to her brother, Adam, in an effort to save Molly's life.

"She's a typical teenage girl, she loves to dance, loves the theater," says nurse Lisa Nash of Denver, Molly's mom. "We never thought she would live to see 15."

A bone marrow transplant in 2000 cured Molly of Fanconi's Anemia, a rare illness that kills many of its victims before the age of 7. The cord blood cells transplanted into Molly came from her then newborn brother, Adam. Now 9, Adam was the first reported case of baby selected as an embryo in a fertility lab for birth because his immune system characteristics made him an ideal transplant candidate for his sister. For the Nashes, giving birth to another child with those matching characteristics offered the only chance to save their daughter. Read more.


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