Baby Born From 20-Year-Old Frozen Embryo
2010-10-18 0:00

By Mara Hvistendahl | PopSci.com


Cryopreservation was once the domain of sci-fi novels and B-rate movies. (Think Encino Man.) But it’s increasingly real, as the recent birth of a healthy boy from a frozen embryo created 20 years earlier shows.


Eight-Cell Embryo RWJMS IVF Program


The birth, which is reported in a study in the online edition of the journal Fertility and Sterility, sets a record. Until now, no embryo frozen for this long has resulted in a live birth.

The 42-year-old mother of the boy, who is not named in the study, began trying to get pregnant using IVF ten years ago. At the time, she and her husband received embryos from a heterosexual couple who had themselves undergone IVF.

That couple had anonymously donated their leftover embryos after the woman successfully gave birth. Thing was, they did so in 1990 – meaning that the boy just born to the woman in the study has a sibling out there somewhere who was conceived at the same time but is 20 years younger.

Frozen embryos are something of a new ethical frontier in IVF -- one that was not foreseen back in 1978, when Nobel Prize in Physiology recipient Robert Edwards and colleague Patrick Steptoe announced the birth of Louise Brown, the world’s first test-tube baby. Because of improved fertility drugs and lab techniques, the average IVF cycle now yields more embryos than it once did. Many of those end up in the freezer, where they keep remarkably well.

But the ethical and practical implications of keeping potential humans on ice are now becoming abundantly clear. Increasingly, divorced couples fight over frozen embryos. And the preservation of genetic material – embryos, eggs, and sperm -- created by biological parents who may be well beyond their reproductive years gives others pause. In 2007, a mother froze eggs for use by her daughter, then seven years old, who was born with a condition that could make her infertile. If the daughter someday uses the embryos, she will give birth to her half-brother or half-sister.

And then there is the time lapse between conception and birth in this latest news item. Previously, the record-holder for longest time in the freezer was a baby born from an embryo that had been frozen for 13 years.

Mara Hvistendahl is writing Unnatural Selection, a book on reproductive technology, sex selection, and gender imbalance.


Article from: popsci.com



Related Articles
Embryo Mix Up: Woman Implanted with wrong eggs
Obama to Lift Ban on Funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Legal loophole in embryology bill could pave the way for human-ape hybrids
Human-pig hybrids embryos given go ahead
Baby to be born free of breast cancer after embryo screening
The First Genetically Modified Human Embryo: Advance or Abomination?
Chimera embryos have right to life, say bishops
U.S. scientist first to clone monkey embryos
Embryonic Idea: Human Procreation in Space Would Be Perilous


Latest News from our Front Page

Anglo-Saxon Sword and Helmet from Staffordshire Hoard Reconstructed
2015-05-29 0:49
Thousands of metal fragments from the Staffordshire Hoard have been reconstructed into two "significant" new 7th Century objects. Researchers have pieced together parts of a silver helmet and a previously unseen form of sword pommel. The hoard, which is valued at £3.2m, was found in a field near Burntwood, Staffordshire in July 2009. Both items have been put on display at Birmingham's Museum ...
ALEC corruption: Legislators and corporate lobbyists meet in secret at Savannah resort
2015-05-28 23:59
The Georgia Legislature has a message for voters: don't ask us about our meetings with corporate lobbyists behind closed doors. The 11Alive Investigators tracked lawmakers to a resort hotel in Savannah last week, where we observed state legislators and lobbyists mingling in the hotel bar the night before they gathered in private rooms to decide what new laws would best serve ...
Swedish politician: US is the true cause of the masses of refugees from the Middle East
2015-05-28 20:13
Editors Note: And who controls US foreign policy? Listen to Jeff Gates. The present Swedish debate about war refugees from the Middle East is an example of peer restricted expression. In the name of political correctness or perceived decency, any questioning of maximum generosity in opening Swedish borders for the refugees is indignantly rejected by the official mainstream. We have a ...
Even if Patriot Act Expires, Government Will Keep Spying on All Americans
2015-05-28 19:52
Government Will Use "Secret Interpretations" to Get Around Legal Prohibitions Mass surveillance under the Patriot Act is so awful that even its author says that the NSA has gone far beyond what the Act intended (and that the intelligence chiefs who said Americans aren't being spied on should be prosecuted for perjury). Specifically, the government is using a "secret interpretation" of the ...
The TPP, Monsanto, Rockefeller, Trilateral Commission, Brzezinski
2015-05-28 19:18
All hands on deck for global, economic, corporate dictatorship There are dots to connect here. They're real, and they're spectacular. Let me begin with a brief exchange from a 1978 interview, conducted by reporter Jeremiah Novak. He was speaking with two American members of the Trilateral Commission (TC), a group founded in 1973 by David Rockefeller and his intellectual flunkey, Zbigniew Brzezinski. NOVAK: ...
More News »