Reproductive Technology: Advances in the Regulation of Human Fertility
Developmental biology in the bedrooms of the nation
Because it has medical, sociological, agricultural and economic implications, fertilization is one of the most fascinating and intensely-studied aspects of development. Some of the new technologies that relate to conception are discussed below.
Assisted Reproduction provides couples who are unable to conceive with the opportunity to have a child. In vitro fertilization (IVF) involves collection of eggs by laparoscopy, followed by mixing eggs and sperm and culture of the embryos before transferring them to the uterine cavity to continue their development. A recent innovation has been the introduction of the technique of intracytoplasmic sperm injection, in which sperm are microinjected into the egg cytoplasm, which was first described by Palermo (for review, see Palermo et al., 1995).
Typically, multiple eggs are fertilized during IVF. The resulting embryos that are not implanted may be frozen so that they can later be retrieved and implanted. What should be the fate of excess embryos that result from assisted reproduction but are not implanted? See Embryo Research Editorial Sparking Renewed Debate.
Links to Related Material
Holden, C. 1997. Sex-specific sperm goes commercial. Science 276: 1503-1505.
Palermo, G.D., Cohen, J., Alikani, M., Adler , A., Rosenwaks, Z. et al. 1992. Development and implementation of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Reprod Fertil Dev 7:2 11-217 ,
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Leon Browder & Laurie Iten (Ed.) Dynamic Development
Last revised Tuesday June 30, 1998