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Baby bred to provide stem cells for sister

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 14 October 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:918
  1. Deborah Josefson
  1. New York

    A couple in Colorado, United States, has used in vitro fertilisation and preimplantation genetics to produce embryos and screen them for a child who could be a stem cell and bone marrow donor for their daughter.

    The case, which has provoked widespread discussion about the ethical issues involved, is believed to be the first known instance where preimplantation genetics was used both to screen for a disease and to ensure a tissue donor match in a sibling.

    The couple's daughter, 6 year old Molly Nash, was born with Fanconi's anaemia. Fanconi's anaemia is a rare, autosomal recessive disease characterised by aplastic anaemia (bone marrow failure of all marrow lineages), brittle chromosomes, and the variable presence of skeletal, cardiac, and renal anomalies.

    Additionally, affected persons may have mental retardation, small facies, gastrointestinal disorders, “cafe au lait” …

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