"Can you Clone Michael Phelps?" And Other Genetics Questions for a Fertility Specialist

Michael Phelps won his 23rd gold medal in the Rio Olympics in 2016, and Katie Ledecky broke world records in multiple events, leaving the rest of the world’s greatest swimmers in her wake. The success of the world’s elite athletes is not only due to drive, determination, practice and persistence, but also to physical traits that allow them to crush their competition. Height, muscle mass, joint flexibility and other genetic traits have all been mentioned in media coverage of Michael Phelps’s world domination of swimming. As a fertility specialist, I talk about genetics every day with my patients. The ability to screen embryos for genetic defects has been around for over 20 years, but the use of genetic screening in IVF has multiplied astronomically in the last few years due to advancements in technology and a decrease in cost. With an increase in use, there is an increase in misconceptions about what we can do with genetics in 2016. Here are answers to the many genetics questions I answer every day.

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