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First Baby Born Using Embryo Screening Method, Could Cut IVF Costs Significantly

The technique, devised at Oxford University, takes just 24 hours to check the correct number of chromosomes are present in an embryo. If large-scale testing is successful, then the cost of IVF will be reduced by one-third.

An innovative screening method for IVF babies has produced its first bundle of joy. Connor Levy was born in the U.S. in May, using a new technique that uses genome sequencing to identify the healthiest embryo. Up until now, doctors and fertility specialists have had to rely on luck.

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The technique, devised at Oxford University, takes just 24 hours to check the correct number of chromosomes are present in an embryo. The university’s Dr. Dagan Wells says that, if large-scale testing is successful, the cost of IVF will be reduced by one-third.

“What our technique does is it gives you the number of chromosomes and other biological information about the embryo at a low cost – probably about two thirds of the price of existing methods of screening.”

Connor’s mother, Marybeth Scheidts, had this to say about the breakthrough. “It takes its toll, there were some days I would break down and cry, I wanted to hide in my bedroom and say stop. Then to see him… all this hard work and we have finally got our little tiny human being named Connor.”

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My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.

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