Posts Tagged ‘ stem cells ’

More Millennial Women Choosing IVF Than Ever Before

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Pregnant CoupleIn vitro fertilization is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, especially in millennial women, according to a new report by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART).

In 2013, 2,000 more babies were born through the use of IVF than in 2012. Approximately 175,000 cycles of the treatment led to more than 63,000 infants being born. The report also notes that more women, especially those under 35, are choosing to transfer a single embryo, rather than multiple embryos—which eliminates the possibility of multiple pregnancies through one IVF cycle.

“The goal of reducing the incidence of multiple pregnancies is extremely important, and patients can see from the data that fewer embryos transferred do not mean a lower chance of pregnancy,” said James Toner, M.D., president of SART.

Since fewer women are transferring multiple embryos, twin and triplet birth rates resulting from IVF have noticeably decreased. The report also states that from 2012 to 2013, the number of twins dropped from 12,436 to 12,085, and the number of triplets fell from 411 to 376.

These trends are likely to continue along the same patterns in the coming years—especially with more advanced IVF techniques, like Britain’s newly approved “three-parent” IVF technique and the newest stem cell and IVF technology that may lead to same-sex couples having a biological child.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster
Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster
Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster

Image: Pregnant couple via Shutterstock

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Stem Cell Breakthrough Means Biological Babies for Same-Sex Couples

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Couple ChildDesigner babies? Three-parent babies? Here’s what’s next: two-dad (or mom) babies from stem cells.

A team of scientists have reached an incredible breakthrough—they have successfully created identical human egg and sperm cells from the stem cells of human skin, regardless of gender.

This new technique can be used as IVF treatments to solve fertility problems for couples, especially same-sex couples. “While this breakthrough could help men and women who have been rendered infertile by disease, gay groups have also expressed hope that this project will eventually lead to the creation of children made from same-sex parents,” reports Medical Daily.

In addition, the technique can solve certain age-related diseases, or epigenetic mutations, because cells that form sperm and eggs cells do not contain these mutations.

The use of stem cells to create egg and sperm cells builds on a previous study that was published by lead researcher Dr. Azim Surani and his team last year, when they converted mice skin cells into germ cells (a step toward egg and sperm cells). And it’s likely that the procedure may be introduced within two years—although moral and ethical arguments will undoubtedly be raised.

This news comes right on the heels of Britain’s decision to allow the three-parent baby IVF technique, making Britain the first official country to do so in the world. The first baby using the technique — also know as mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT) — will be born in 2016.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter:@CAITYstjohn

Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes
Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes
Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes

Image: Couple with child via Shutterstock

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Girls’ Stem Cell Donation May Save Future Lives

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Fifteen-year-old Hayley Mogul and her 9-year-old sister both extremely rare genetic disorders–so rare, that a cure isn’t even being sought by scientists–that has had severe neurological and metabolic consequences for the sisters.  But their participation in cutting edge research that combines stem cell and genetic techniques may give hope to future generations.  NBC News reports:

There’s no cure for their rare disorders, caused by unique genetic mutations. But for once, there’s an advantage to having conditions so rare that drug companies cannot even think of looking for a cure. The sisters are taking part in a whole new kind of experiment in which scientists are literally turning back the clock on their cells.

They’re using an experimental technique to transform the cells into embryonic form, and then growing these baby cells in lab dishes.

The goal is the get the cells to misfire in the lab in just the same way they are in Hayley’s and Bari’s bodies. It’s a new marriage of genetics and stem cell research, and represents one of the most promising applications of so-called pluripotent stem cells.

“One day these two girls will probably change the face of medicine as we know it,” said their father, Steven Mogul.

Steven and Robyn Mogul don’t understand why both their daughters ended up with the rare mutations, which cause a range of neurological and metabolic problems.

“We have been tested,” said Mogul, a 45-year-old wealth manager living in Chicago. “We don’t have any mutations, and there are no developmental issues. We have no idea how it happened. “

The girls need special schooling and physical therapy. They must wear diapers, and when they get a cold or the flu, they can develop dangerously low blood sugar. “When the kids get sick, get colds or flu, we have to get them to the hospital,” Mogul said.

Hayley, 15, has a mutation in a gene called RAI1, which can cause Smith-Magenis syndrome. The syndrome affects 1 in 25,000 people and can disturb sleep patterns, cause obesity and behavioral issues. But Hayley’s mutation is unique and puzzling. Bari, 9, has an RAI1 mutation and a similarly unique mutation in the GRIN2B gene, which can cause learning disabilities.

“Bari doesn’t talk,” Mogul said. “She walks around, she gets around and lets you know what she wants. She is eating baby food and she is drinking from bottles.”

Hayley can attend school and can read, but lacks the fine motor skills needed to write. It’s especially unusual for two children in the same family to end up with such rare, and different, mutations.

Image: DNA, via Shutterstock

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Stem Cells Help 2-Year-Old Get New Windpipe

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

A 2-year-old girl who was born without a windpipe has a new chance at life, thanks to a new windpipe made from the girl’s own stem cells.  PEOPLE.com has the story:

Hannah Warren has been unable to breathe, eat, drink or swallow on her own since she was born in South Korea in 2010. Until the operation at a central Illinois hospital, she had spent her entire life in a hospital in Seoul. Doctors there told her parents there was no hope and they expected her to die.

The stem cells came from Hannah’s bone marrow, extracted with a special needle inserted into her hip bone. They were seeded in a lab onto a plastic scaffold, where it took less than a week for them to multiply and create a new windpipe.

About the size of a 3-inch tube of penne pasta, it was implanted April 9 in a nine-hour procedure.

Early signs indicate the windpipe is working, Hannah’s doctors announced Tuesday, although she is still on a ventilator. They believe she will eventually be able to live at home and lead a normal life.

“We feel like she’s reborn,” said Hannah’s father, Darryl Warren.

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Researchers: Stem Cells Can Generate Human Eggs

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital have discovered a way to use ovarian stem cells to create human eggs, a finding that may offer new hope to women struggling with infertility.  The New York Times reports:

Women are born with a complement of egg cells that must last throughout life. The ability to isolate stem cells from which eggs could be cultivated would help not only with fertility but also with biologists’ understanding of how drugs and nutrition affect the egg cells.

The new research, by a team led by the biologist Jonathan L. Tilly, depends on a special protein found to mark the surface of reproductive cells like eggs and sperm. Using a cell-sorting machine that can separate out the marked cells, the team obtained reproductive cells from mouse ovaries and showed that the cells would generate viable egg cells that could be fertilized and produce embryos.

They then applied the same method to human ovaries donated by women at the Saitama Medical Center in Japan who were undergoing sex reassignment because of a gender identity disorder. As with the mice, the team was able to retrieve reproductive cells that produced immature egg cells when grown in the laboratory. The egg cells, when injected into mice, generated follicles, the ovarian structure in which eggs are formed, as well as mature eggs, some of which had a single set of chromosomes, a signature of eggs and sperm. The results were published online Sunday by the journal Nature Medicine.

Image: Human cell cultures, via Shutterstock.

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