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Now researchers can identify sections of DNA that predispose an embryo to develop cancer syndromes in later life

11 March 2009

Researchers have used a common laboratory technique for the first time to detect genetic changes in embryos that could predispose the resulting children to develop certain cancer syndromes. Current preimplantation genetic diagnosis techniques can detect mutations in very small bits of genes or DNA, but, until now, it wasn’t easy to detect deletions involving whole genes or long sections of DNA in embryos. The study, published o in Europe’s leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction, uses a technique called fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) to detect losses of small parts of whole chromosomes (microdeletions) in a single cell from an embryo.

From the paper: Preimplantation genetic diagnosis using fluorescent in situ hybridization for cancer predisposition syndromes caused by microdeletions, E. Vanneste, C. Melotte, S. Debrock, T. D’Hooghe, H. Brems, J.P. Fryns, E. Legius, and J.R. Vermeesch

Publihsed in Human Reproduction, Advanced Access, 10th March 2009

Read the press release online