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Identifying viable embryos

Molecular techniques may one day help fertility doctors reduce the number of multiple births

6:02pm, May 13, 2008

Australian researchers have taken fingerprinting children to the next level. A group at MonashUniversity in Melbourne is using DNA fingerprinting and other molecular techniques to identify viable embryos created during fertility procedures.

Such research could improve the chance a woman will get pregnant when only one embryo is transferred to the womb. Currently, many fertility clinics in the United States implant two or more embryos created during in vitro fertilization. That can result in pregnancies with multiple “test tube babies,” and pregnancies with multiples carry health risks for the mothers and for the babies.

Risks of multiple-birth pregnancies include premature birth, low birth weight, cerebral pa

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