GenePeeks

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GenePeeks
FoundersAnne Morriss
Lee Silver
Location
Websitewww.genepeeks.com

GenePeeks is a genetic research company that owns and runs Matchright, a simulation that determines the probability of genetic disorders being present in a child given two people's DNA.

Overview[edit]

GenePeeks simulates the combination of genetic sequences of two people and predicts potential diseases and inherited disorders to find good recipient matches for sperm donors.[1] By simulating the process of reproduction with the two DNA sequences, the company's software (called Matchright) forms a hypothetical child genome to determine the likelihood of the resulting child developing one of around 600 conditions.[1][2] The technology is currently aimed at sperm banks; the first users will be at two fertility clinics in the United States, one of which is Manhattan Cryobank in New York City.[1][3]

The software creates around 10,000 virtual genomes for each donor-recipient pair, and typically rules out 10-15% of donors as bad matches for the recipient.[4] Currently it only searches for single gene genetic conditions, but the company plan to expand the software to look for multiple gene diseases like diabetes and heart disease.[4]

Concern has been raised as to whether the software would allow "designer babies", but the company say that they are not intending to use the system for non-medical purposes.[4][5]

History[edit]

GenePeeks was established by Anne Morriss and Lee Silver. Silver is a genetics professor at Princeton University whose work is focused on reproduction and development.[1][4] Morriss was motivated to start the service in part by her own experience of starting a family; her son received an inherited disorder (MCADD) after being conceived with sperm from a donor.[6] The two started GenePeeks after being introduced by a mutual friend.[4]

In January 2014 the company was issued a patent for their algorithms to simulate genetic interactions.[7]

In 2018, Anne Morriss had left the company and the company website has since been taken down[8].

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Rincon, Paul (October 4, 2013). "Genepeeks firm to offer 'digital baby' screen for sperm donors". BBC News. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  2. ^ Rojahn, Susan (November 20, 2012). "Genetic Screening Can Uncover Risky Matches at the Sperm Bank". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  3. ^ Mohney, Gillian (April 10, 2014). "New Tech Allows Parents Genetic 'Preview' Before Conception". ABC News.
  4. ^ a b c d e de Lange, Catherine (April 6, 2014). "Startup offering DNA screening of 'hypothetical babies' raises fears over designer children". The Guardian. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  5. ^ de Lange, Catherine (April 12, 2014). "Meet your unborn child - before it's conceived". New Scientist. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  6. ^ Johnson, Carolyn (October 14, 2013). "Company seeks to make sperm banks safer". Boston Globe. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  7. ^ "GenePeeks Announces Issuance of US Patent for Pre-Conception Prediction of Disease Risk in Hypothetical Future Children". Business Wire. January 27, 2014. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  8. ^ [GenePeeks.com "GenePeeks Site"] Check |url= value (help).

External links[edit]