D1 Genetics Assignment: Relating Science to Society
● Pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) is a genetic test performed on an embryo before it is
implanted (with the help of Invitro fertilization) in a mother’s uterus. The test looks for aneuploidies
(too many or too few chromosomes). Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is done in a similar
manner to PGS but it looks for single gene genetic disorders in the embryo (that it inherited from its
parents). If an embryo is found to have a genetic abnormality, it will not be selected to be implanted
into the uterus; a chromosomally normal embryo will be chosen instead.
● Your task is to do very good research on the pros and cons of preimplantation genetic screening,
with emphasis on how PGS will affect society (not the parents/child themselves). For example, if a
couple can be prevented from having a child with cystic fibrosis (estimated that one in every 3,600
children born in Canada has CF) that saves our healthcare system approximately US $306,332 spent
on health care costs for the patient’s lifetime (Kees van Gool, March 2013). What are the societal
negatives of offering embryo screening to a couple? For example, a much older couple might then
use PGS/IVF to conceive, delaying the age a woman conceives at; this older maternal age comes with
increased risks to the mother, with increased risk of conditions like preeclampsia (9.4% in women
over 35 compared to 6.4% in women under 35 (Lamminpää, R, June 11, 2012)
o You can use point form notes. You should have 3 points for the pros, and 3 for the cons.
o Ensure that all of your points are in your own writing. Never copy and paste research into
your own google doc; this increases the likelihood of inadvertently plagiarising. Instead,
read the research and then paraphrase it using your own words. Revisit the plagiarism
resources that are posted in our resource section if you need a refresher on what constitutes
o Anytime you include information that you learnt elsewhere in your writing, make sure to
add an intext citation. This usually is the author’s last name and year of publication in
brackets such as: (Jones, 2020)
o Track your sources in a reference page. You can use your school noodle tool account or any
citation page to help you create a proper reference page that is in APA formatting. Citation
machine is quite good. You should have a minimum of 5 sources.
o Run your work through the originality report in google classroom before submitting. See
the Originality Report information in our “Resources” tab.
o Keep in mind that you must support EVERY statement with FACTS and STATISTICS and
o Our focus here is on the social implications of genetic screening, and not on why this
benefits the conceiving couple. For every point, stop and ask yourself this question: “Does
this point show that society has somehow benefited or has been harmed?”
o DO NOT DO THE FOLLOWING:
▪ Discuss the ethics of destroying embryos. This is a whole separate argument that will
not be covered in this assignment
▪ Discuss the chance of miscarriage when performing PGS. This is because although
there is a very slight chance, without the use of PGS, some couples would have no
chance of conceiving.
▪ Discuss that it is only 97% effective as PGS is still the best option for many infertile
▪ Discuss designer babies, as this is something that is currently not a societal issue.
▪ Discuss sex selection as a way to balance family dynamics (same number of males
and females) or any other argument that is more of a personal reason versus a
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