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

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

’Digital twins’ will make decisions for us - and even console loved ones after we die by 2020, futurist claims
2014 09 23
By 2020, our day-to-day lives, relationships and even what to have for dinner could be controlled and run by digital versions of ourselves. According to futurist John Smart, within the next six years many of us could have so-called ‘digital twins’ that schedule our appointments and even have conversations with others on our behalf. And they could one day console loved ones ...
Israel Joins The Fighting, Shoots Down Syrian Warplane Which Acted In "Threatening Manner"
2014 09 23
Whether as a result of recent icy to quite icy diplomatic relations between the two nations, or just because it has other motives, Israel had clearly abstained from joining the US effort to contain the CIA-created ISIS terrorist juggernaut. However, overnight, with the US finally doing what Israel has hoped it would do for so long, namely being engaged in ...
Proof Ebola Is Airborne And U.S. Troops Will Be Caught In A Death Trap
2014 09 23
“Help needs to come fast. Because even if the new U.S. aid starts to slow down the epidemic next week, it will take a year or a year and a half to wipe out Ebola from West Africa,” says Jeffrey Shaman, an associate professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. He’s making models of ...
Your Smartphone Broadcasts Your Entire Life To The Secret Service
2014 09 23
Intelligence services collect metadata on the communication of all citizens. Politicians would have us believe that this data doesn’t say all that much. A reader of De Correspondent put this to the test and demonstrated otherwise: metadata reveals a lot more about your life than you think. Ton Siedsma is nervous. He made the decision weeks ago, but keeps postponing it. ...
Scots were tricked into voting ‘No’ – Salmond
2014 09 23
London politicians gulled Scottish voters out of independence by making a false “vow” to grant Glasgow extra powers, First Minister Alex Salmond has said. He also raised the prospect of another referendum, saying the break-up is inevitable. Alex Salmond, leader of the ’Yes’ campaign and the outgoing head of the Scottish National Party (SNP), told the BBC’s Sunday Politics program that ...
More News »