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Egg DNA Analysis

In Beijing, fertility researchers and clinicians are turning to single-cell genomics to assess the genetic health of eggs being used for in vitro fertilization, Technology Review reports.

A trial at Third Hospital of Peking University is examining whether DNA gathered from structures at the side of the egg can be amplified and analyzed to discover genetic aberrations and whether that method is as good at catching them as embryo biopsy.

Amplification is a key step as limited amounts of DNA can be isolated, and Tech Review notes that the Chinese team is drawing on a method developed by Sunney Xie at Harvard University.

The trial includes women who have undergone a number of failed IVF rounds.

“We get many difficult cases each year,” Jie Qiao, director of the fertility center at the Third Hospital says. “We believe we can increase the pregnancy rate.”

She notes, though, that as the test is examining DNA from the egg, it will only reveal maternal genetic diseases.