Artificial Sex Selection in Today’s Fertility Clinics Essay
The method of sorting cryopreserved sperm for the purpose of separating the X and Y chromosomes has been an ongoing process for many years. However, recently this method has become a modern preconception technique in which numerous applications for safe and effective selection procedures now exist in clinical practices. I have chosen to explore how currently these uses have broadened to areas where many of us might see as a moral or ethical issue. These uses might even be linked to a larger scheme of pre-embryonic chromosome attenuation such as the Human Genome Project.
General History of the Sperm Sorting Technique
As we approach the new Millennium, …show more content…
Sex Selection of spermatozoa by chromatin differences is the reliance on distinctive nuclear characteristics unique to either X or Y. This technique has been shown to achieve significant enriched populations of X or Y chromosome bearing sperm (9). This is because X-chromosomes contain 2.8 percent more DNA than the Y chromosomes (2). With this information, researchers at the Genetics and IVF Institute in Fairfax, Virginia have announced a sperm-sorting technique that almost guarantees that a girl will be conceived(2 ). This is an improvement over the natural 50/50 chance of conceiving a girl, which would for example decrease the odds for sex-linked disorders.
Sperm Sorting Technique
The current technique used in the separation is to treat the sperm with a fluorescent marker, Hoechst 33,342, which attaches in proportion to the amount of DNA present in the sperm head. Then the sperm are put