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Baby Gender Mentor hit the market June 17 with an exclusive announcement on NBC’s ”Today. ” Fetal DNA gets into the mother’s blood through the barrier of the placenta. The test includes a finger-prick kit for collecting a blood specimen, which is then sent to the lab for analysis. The lab examines the DNA and then looks for the presence of a Y chromosome, which only males have. Presence of the chromosome generally means the fetus must be male, and its absence means a female.

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”The sex test is very controversial because it’s not clear that you want to broadly facilitate the ability of people to sex-select embryos at a very early stage,” said Dr. Charles R. Cantor, professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University. ”It’s potentially abusable. ” Acu-Gen Lab is the lab where blood specimens are sent and the lab’s director, Yuri Melekhovets says that he is aware of the potential ethical concern of sex selection, but contends that the problem is not the product, but what is done with it.

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”We supply the information,” he said, ”and what you do with the information is up to you. ” China’s Government will utilize the new product and the information. In China, it has led to an imbalance of about 120 men for every 100 women; and in India, one recent report from an affluent area of New Delhi found that for every 1,000 boys born in 2004, only 762 girls were born. The two biggest issues are clearly economic growth and the one-child policy. Both of these are ongoing processes, some more potential than reality.

It turns out that these processes are very closely related. The one-child policy was “designed” to create a generation of ambitious, well-educated children who would lead their country into the “First World”. Some people in the China bureaucracy came to justify the policy on the grounds that it would lead to more resources being lavished on fewer children and thus a better quality of people. Despite a slowdown in its growth rate, China’s population remains the world’s largest, accounting for more than one-fifth of the world’s total population.

In November 2000, China’s Fifth National Population Census counted 1. 29 billion people. Of this total, 1. 26 billion were on China’s mainland, another 6. 78 million in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, 0. 44 million in the Macao Special, and an estimated 22. 28 million in Taiwan and adjoining islands. Furthermore, the 1970s had begun to see more serious attempts at family planning. Later marriages and smaller families were encouraged in national campaigns in the early 1970s.

But it was the introduction of China’s one-child policy, announced in 1979 and implemented in subsequent years that had the greatest impact on the pattern of Chinese births and population growth. The one-child policy explained that couples could have one child only, regardless of the sex of that child. Multiple births were excepted from this rule. When couples could try for a child depended on the allocation of births made to workplaces by local population planning authorities.

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Kylie Garcia

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