The birth in June was announced as part of a study that scientists said validated the concept of next-generation genome screening, although more clinical tests are needed before the system is used widely. This new technique uses modern low-cost DNA sequencing to spot both whole chromosome abnormalities and specific gene defects before an embryo is implanted in the uterus. Only around 30 percent of embryos selected during in-vitro fertilization (IVF) – successfully implanted when eggs are fertilized with sperm in a lab dish and chromosomal defects are a major factor in failures.

Researchers believed that other genetic screening methods have been developed over the past decade but the new system should be cheaper. The first test tube baby to come from an embryo screened for genetic defects using a new, low-cost technique that could improve in-vitro fertilisation success rates was born last month and is a healthy boy.