Pregnancy: A Urine Test to Determine Gender, Your Baby's Genome in Your Blood and Male Mice Reproducing Without a Female


With one of my dear friends very pregnant right now, I thought I'd dedicate this post to her with some scientific breakthroughs (and some fun) in the world of pregnancy.

Since 2006, a home gender detection device for expectant mothers has been on the market. IntelliGender, created by Rebecca Griffin and Teresa Garland, is a urine based test similar to how any over the counter pregnancy test would be used, but instead of indicating negative or positive, the baby's sex can be determined. IntelliGender is currently being sold in 15 countries, but not in China were gender detection tests are illegal. InetlliGender has recently been in the news as a fake IntelliGender test is currently being sold in China, where combined with the one child policy and a preference for male children a test like this has much deeper implications.

To learn more about IntelliGender:

In 1997 Dennis Lo of The Chinese University in Hong Kong detected the full genome (all of the hereditary information including DNA, RNA etc) of a child in the blood of the pregnant mother. The ability to detect this could open up possibilities of non-invasive means of prenatal diagnosis of hereditary diseases, typically diagnosed via invasive means such as amniocentesis or chronic willis sampling (CVS). While these tests may be somewhat more accurate than reviewing the baby's genome found within the mother's blood, they do carry a 1% risk of miscarriage. Currently the process of "constructing a fetal genomic map" through these means can cost around $200,000, with this price dropping dramatically in the near future.

To learn more about fetal genome detection:

"Using stem cell technology, reproductive scientists in Texas, led by Dr. Richard R. Berhringer at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, have produced male and female mice from two fathers." While a female surrogate is still needed, this experiment indicates that if no females of a species are available, very possible in cases of species that are tremendously endangered, male genetic information can be modified enough not only for one generation of reproduction, but for those offspring to also be able to reproduce. This experiment has larger implications for the possibility of same sex parents (both male and female) to be able to have genetic children.

For those interested in the scientific procedure behind this, please read more at: