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Sex Preselection For many years mankind has wondered how to choose the sex of a child before its birth for which countless myths folk remedies and magic potions have been offered as a solution None of these methods were based on scientific evidence However in recent years gender selection has been made possible through advances such as preimplantation genetic diagnosis using biopsy methods combined with in vitro fertilization and sperm separation using flow cytometry techniques Reubinoff 1996 p 344 These methods can increase the likelihood of producing a child of the desired sex although none can guarantee success The fact that the procedure can be fairly simple and inexpensive may cause medical practices to notice an increase in the demand for the services This will most likely bring about many ethical and moral dilemmas as is often accompanied by scientific progress in modern society Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is a technique that can be used during in vitro fertilization to test embryos for genetic disorders as well as the sex by observing chromosome content In this procedure a woman uses fertility drugs so that she releases several eggs in one cycle The eggs are taken from the mother fertilized and then allowed to divide After two or three days one or two cells are removed from the embryo and tested Verlinsky 1996 p 359 The current primary means of testing the embryos is fluorescent in situ hybridization This method is based on the labeling of specific DNA sequences of X and Y-chromosomes It illuminates the X and Y-chromosomes in different colors therefore providing a means of separating the male and female embryos This technique is also useful in that it can detect chromosomal abnormalities such as XO and XXX Furthermore the procedures staining methods can allow accurate sex determination within two hours Although it has been argued that the FISH technique is acceptable when the embryo is homogenous but remains questionable when
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