Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Infertility & Reproduction Health Center

Font Size

Genetic Differences for 'Test Tube' Babies?

Researchers Look for Clues to Health Risks in Babies Born via Assisted Reproductive Technologies

Health Risks of ART Babies continued...

They also found these differences sometimes resulted in differences in the expression of nearby genes, the way they are turned on or off.

What's not known, Sapienza says, is whether the differences are the result of ART or are associated with other factors, such as the infertility itself.

Several of the genes whose expression was found to differ between the groups have been linked with the development of fat tissue and glucose metabolism. Still, only a small fraction of the ART babies, despite the differences observed, were found to be outside the ''normal'' range, Sapienza says.

Second Opinion

The new findings are believed to be the first to show on a molecular basis differences between ART children and other children, says Marvin L. Meistrich, PhD, professor of experimental radiation oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.

"It's not a cause to worry," says Meistrich, who participated in a symposium that presented the study's findings at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting.

''Yes, he found some abnormalities associated with the process but the abnormalities may be very subtle," Meistrich tells WebMD.

The study findings are preliminary, he says, and the information about differences is expected to evolve as more work is done in the area. Those who have had ART children or are ART children themselves should try to follow the research findings closely, Meistrich says.

If further research links specific genetic differences in ART children to specific diseases, ''they could become proactive and start to monitor or take preventive measures for that disease."

For instance, if genetic differences prove to boost the risk for colon cancer, the ART-conceived person may opt for routine colonoscopy at an earlier age.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Four pregnant women standing in a row
How much do you know about conception?
Couple with surrogate mother
Which one is right for you?
couple lying in grass holding hands
Why Dad's health matters.
couple viewing positive pregnancy test
6 ways to improve your chances.
Which Treatment Is Right For You
Conception Myths
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy
Charting Your Fertility Cycle
Fertility Specialist
Understanding Fertility Symptoms
invitro fertilization