A soon-to-launch service from a company called GenePeeks is to use microarrays to examine the genomes of both sperm bank clients and donors to uncover possible genetic disease risk, reports MIT's Technology Review. Tech Review notes that sperm bank donors currently are screened for a few genetic diseases, like cystic fibrosis, but GenePeeks aims to look at a wider swath. The service, it adds, doesn't aim "to find the perfect match for a sperm-bank client, but to rule out potentially risky matches."
The company was founded after CEO Anne Morriss's personal experience — her son, who was conceived with a sperm donor, has a genetic condition. She happened to have one defective copy of the gene causing it, as did the sperm donor she chose.
Morriss tells Tech Review that she wants the service to be affordable and cost less than $1,000. "We want to make it accessible," she says. "That's why we are working with [microarray] technology."