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The UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has agreed in principle to screening and selection of embryos for couples who have the possibility of passing on a gene for breast cancer.
Previously genetic screening has only been carried out for embryos with the risk of having a gene that always causes disease, such as cystic fibrosis.
Now the HFEA are allowing screening of genes on a case by case basis that would give the individual an increased risk of disease, such as the BRCA1 gene, which raises the risk of cancer in adulthood by 60-80%.
This kind of approach can be seen as a move away from human genetic diversity and the concept of addressing the environmental influences of switching genes on or off, towards a genetic inbreeding and the kind of uniformity depicted by Huxley.
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