Britain's First Breast Cancer Gene-Free Designer Baby Due Any Day

The first baby girl free of the BRCA 1 gene, which significantly raises a woman's chances of developing breast cancer, is due to be born this week in Britain, Medical News Today reported.

The embryo that produced the baby girl was genetically selected and screened to ensure it was free of the cancer-causing gene, which raises a woman's breast cancer risk by 50 to 80 percent.

The gene is passed down from generation to generation.

The mother, who is remaining anonymous, decided to undergo the screening, called PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) in June 2008. All the father’s female relatives have had breast cancer, according to the report.

The screening has been used before in the Britain to select embryos free of cystic fibrosis and Huntington's disease, but not for the BRCA 1 gene.

A private clinic within the University College Hospital in London called the Assisted Conception Unit carried out the procedure. Doctors tested 11, 3-day-old embryos, six of which carried the gene. Two embryos which were BRCA 1-free were implanted and the mother became pregnant with one.

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