Daily Buzz: IVF tests screen more than ever. But should they?



Scientists in Melbourne have created a Pre-Implanation Genetic (PGS) test that is 99 per cent accurate, picking up the widest array of what they called genetic defects in an Australian first.

Embryos can be screened for a range of genetic conditions, including Down Syndrome, Huntington’s disease and spinal muscular atrophy, before pregnancy.

Monash IVF geneticist and PGS coordinator Dr Elissa Osborne said ideal candidates for screening would be older women, couples who have suffered multiple miscarriages, couples who have experienced repeat IVF failure, and known carriers of specific gene disorders, such as cystic fibrosis.

Not only that but testing for chromosomal abnormalities could pick up whether the issues arose from the egg or the sperm, where old methods could not.

The ideas have drawn criticism from some who claimed it was edging too close to playing ‘God’ and treated children who had conditions like Downs Syndrome as if they were less than equal.

What do you think?

Gordon Wood. Pic: Channel 9

1. Did you catch the Gordon Wood interview on 60 Minutes? He was convicted of murdering his girlfriend Caroline Byrne and making it look like a suicide almost 17 years ago in Sydney. But this year he was acquitted of the charges, on appeal, and walked free from jail. Now he told all. News.com.au reported:

Two days before her death, Caroline had sought medical help and was due to see a psychiatrist on the day she died.

“She only told me of her depression in a day or two before she committed suicide and I’ve reproached myself for maybe not being sensitive enough at the time of it,” Mr Wood said.

“I had no idea it was as serious as it was.”

2. Hey, Jason Segel was too fat too! A Universal studio exec told him he had to lose weight for his latest film ‘A Five Year Engagement’ because audiences needed some reason to believe Emily Blunt would fall for him. Head. Desk.

3. Britain’s Ministry of Defence is considering placing surface-to-air missiles on top of local residents’ flats as part of security for this year’s Olympics. Residents received leaflets from the MoD letting them know ‘higher velocity missile systems’ could be placed on their roofs. Fun for the whole family.

4. It’s not just a teen thing. Adolescence, scientists have reminded us, lasts until ‘at least the age of 24’ when the brain stops maturing. That means young pups are still higher risk takers and in a state of upheaval until basically their mid 20s. But parents already knew that right?

5. Should the age of criminal consent (in New South Wales) be raised to 16? It’s currently at 10 years of age across the country. It all comes back to that age old argument: how much are children able to actually distinguish right from wrong and should they be held criminally accountable earlier?

6. Up to 10,000 people people with disabilities, carers and friends will rally across Australia today to ensure no political party baulks at the National Disability Insurance Scheme. No party has yet guaranteed it, although Federal Labor has started the first stages of devising the multi-billion dollar scheme.


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