Genetics and Fertility This Week
A few interesting topics in the news this week:
A truly great article on the “unsung heroes of consumer genetics”. Read this to better understand the role of genetic counselors and its significance as we tread further into a world of personalized medicine!
Researchers at Northwestern’s School of Medicine have implanted 3D printed ovaries in mice. A scaffold was printed to hold ovarian follicle cells and oocytes, the precursor to egg cells. The mice not only gave birth to healthy pups but also showed regular hormone cycles and function. The researchers began this project with the ultimate goal of restoring fertility for cancer patients whose fertility is compromised by treatment. The research lead also believes 3D printed ovaries could potentially be used to regulate hormone cycles in women diagnosed with reduced ovarian function.
The high cost of IVF treatments in the US is not a novel subject. The cost can often be limiting to women and couples struggling to conceive. What’s happening as a result is more and more couples are taking “IVF holidays”, traveling outside the US for the procedure. Forty percent of the IVF cycles performed in the Czech Republic in 2014 were for foreign patients. These trips, happening in several European countries, often include the use of donor eggs.
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