what can you know about DNA?

PODCAST: Genetic testing of sperm donors

In this conversation with GenePeeks co-founder Anne Morriss, we talk about: the rare genetic issue that led her to create the company what new technology enables geneticists to do — and not do walk through the nature of recessive genes learn how GenePeeks weeds out about 15 percent of sperm donors whose particular combination with…

What is Epigenetics?

Sarah Kowalski

excerpted from the Choice Mom E-guides to Eggs and to Embryos, submitted by Sarah Kowalski “Within the next 10 to 20 years we will discover that our genetic code only accounts for 10 percent of what gets inherited and what makes us who we are. Genes at birth are not as essential as we once…

PODCAST and EGUIDE: Genetic testing of sperm donors

When we’re creating life using reproductive technology, it is nice to think that our carefully selected sperm, combined with egg thanks to the help of a fertility doctor and/or lab embryologist, will lead to a perfectly healthy baby. But, that’s not always true. Which is why genetic testing can be an important step. Thanks to two…

Debating Amniocentesis Risks

On the Choice Mom Over 40 discussion board, a woman was quickly trying to decide whether — with “advanced maternal age” — she should be getting an amniocentesis to check for abnormalities in her new pregnancy, with the understanding that it carries a risk of miscarriage. In the past when this question has been raised,…

Nature vs Nurture: book excerpt

I’ve become acquainted with the interesting work and brain of Harvard professor Steven Pinker, and have been reading his 2002 book The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. So it was with pleasure that I read (pages 398-399) some of his thoughts on the nature vs nurture debate as it relates to how…

Insight: Testing your sperm bank’s genes

Egg and sperm donor banks must adhere to certain safety standards, related to infectious disease testing. However, the donors themselves are not required to have genetic testing. That’s why it’s important for you to know the standards of the bank you want to work with — and know what questions to ask.

Do you know your genetic history?

One advantage of sperm donor conception is that you are looking at your eggs and a donor’s sperm much more scientifically than if you were conceiving with a man you fell in love with. That means you have tools at your disposal to prevent potential medical problems for your child. Your sperm bank might have evaluated your donor’s family history, but have you had yours evaluated as well?