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Genetic Researcher Dies

Yury Verlinsky, a genetic researcher, died of colon cancer at the age of 65. According to the Los Angeles Times, Verlinsky immigrated to the US from the Soviet Union in 1979 and was the first in the US to perform chorionic villus sampling — which was already done in the Soviet Union and Europe — to detect birth defects. Verlinsky then developed pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, inspired by a Joan Miro painting. Later, he was criticized when he helped the parents of a girl with Fanconi anemia have a son whose umbilical cord cells treated his sister's anemia and again when he helped a woman with the early-onset Alzheimer's disease gene conceive a daughter without the gene. Verlinsky also started the Reproductive Genetics Institute in Chicago. A colleague, Norman Ginsberg, tells the Chicago Tribune that Verlinsky was "the first in the lab in the morning and the last out at night."

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