Aggregated News

Image shows a pipet inserting some sort of liquid into petri dish under a microscope.

At a glance: 

Survey reveals nearly three-quarters of U.S. adults support using emerging technology to screen embryos during IVF for likelihood of developing certain health conditions or traits that arise from more than one gene.

Only about one-third of respondents approved of using the technology to predict traits unrelated to disease.

Nearly all expressed concerns about potential negative outcomes for individuals or society.

Findings underscore need for public education about benefits, limitations, ethical hazards of polygenic risk scores for embryos. 

Three out of four adults in the U.S. support the use of emerging technologies that estimate a future child’s likelihood of developing certain health conditions influenced by multiple genes — such as diabetes, heart disease, and depression — before an embryo is implanted during in vitro fertilization (IVF), according to a new public opinion survey led by researchers at Harvard Medical School.

Results of the survey, published May 14 in JAMA Network Openunderscore the need for public education and conversation about the potential positive and negative implications of these ethically fraught technologies, the researchers said.

Although the approach...