NOV 29, 2018 7:13 PM PST

Screening IVF Embryos for Low IQ

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

A New Jersey company, Genomic Predictions, claims to have developed a test that will allow people to screen embryos during in vitro fertilization for a variety of characteristics, including mental disability. “I think people are going to demand that. If we don’t do it, some other company will," the co-founder of the company, Stephen Hsu, told New Scientist.

That opens the door to the possibility that people could screen embryos to find ones that may be more likely to have a high IQ. Genomic Predictions says that they will not allow couples to select for intelligence, however, and can only use their results to screen out embryos that have a high chance of being 25 IQ points below average.

Intelligence is a complex trait by genetic standards, meaning that a variety of genes have an impact on it, not only one. When New Scientist spoke to geneticists about this test, they agreed that a couple is very likely to produce offspring that all have a high degree of similarity among their complex traits. 

Source: New Scientist

About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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