First Human Embryos Successfully Edited in the US

The first known attempt at creating genetically modified human embryos in the United States has been carried out by a team of researchers in Portland, Oregon. The effort, led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health and Science University, involved changing the DNA of a large number of one-cell embryos with the gene-editing technique CRISPR, according to people familiar with the scientific results. Until now, American scientists have watched with a combination of awe, envy, and some alarm as scientists elsewhere were first to explore the controversial practice. To date, three previous reports of editing human embryos were all published by scientists in China. Now Mitalipov is believed to have

Sperm counts of Western men plummeting, study finds

Sperm counts of men in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand are plunging, according to a new analysis published recently. Among these men there has been a 52% decline in sperm concentration and a 59% decline in total sperm count over a nearly 40-year period ending in 2011, the analysis, published in the journal Human Reproduction Update, said. Scientists determine sperm count by looking at a sample of ejaculate under a microscope. For sperm concentration, they measure how many millions of sperm there are in each milliliter of fluid. Sperm count, then, is sperm concentration multiplied by the total volume of an ejaculate. Researchers led by Dr. Hagai Levine of Hebrew University of

AMA backs global health experts in calling infertility a disease

More than one in eight couples of childbearing age have difficulty conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Experts at the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) have designated infertility a disease. Delegates at the 2017 AMA Annual Meeting voted in support of WHO’s designation of infertility as a disease. The declaration could have a broader impact on how patients, insurers and society conceive of and act with regard to infertility. Causes of infertility are present in both men and women, with about 40 percent of all infertile couples demonstrating a combination of fact

American Greetings Ad Captures The Emotional Journey Of Infertility

For couples dealing with infertility, the journey to parenthood can be painful, isolating and totally overwhelming. American Greetings decided to shed light on this experience with a new ad, titled “Not Alone.” The video follows a couple struggling to conceive and shows a small way people can support loved ones going through this challenging time. The video, which is part of American Greetings’ “Give Meaning” campaign, has reached more 80,000 views on YouTube and over 1 million views on the Facebook page, Love What Matters. The brand teamed up with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association to raise awareness around the difficulties people with fertility issues face. As the YouTube descri

Antidepressants in pregnancy not tied to intellectual disability in kids

Pregnant women's use of antidepressants does not increase their babies' risk of intellectual disability, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed data from a large sample of children and found those whose mothers took antidepressant medications while pregnant were no more likely to be diagnosed with intellectual disability than those who weren't exposed to antidepressants in the womb. "There has certainly been a lot of reports about associations between taking medication - particularly psychiatric medication - during pregnancy and various outcomes," said Dr. Alexander Kolevzon, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Kolevzon and colleagues write in JAMA Psychiatry

Freezing Ovarian Tissue May Be a Promising Fertility Treatment

By 2018, some 76,000 women in the U.S. will freeze their eggs every year to preserve their fertility and increase their odds of getting pregnant later in life. Yet egg freezing is by no means a solid insurance policy. Some estimates suggest that just under 24% of procedures will result in a live birth. The fertility field is looking for other options. In a new study published in the journal Reproductive Sciences, two fertility experts argue that ovarian tissue freezing—a procedure that removes and freezes ovarian tissue for later use—could offer an alternative, especially for women who can’t undergo egg freezing for medical reasons. The procedure, which is still considered experimental, is b

Experimental Test May Let Us Screen For Genetic Defects 5 Weeks Into Pregnancy

An experimental test that relies on an old-fashioned screening exam — the pap smear — may someday allow doctors to easily detect birth defects sooner than ever. On Tuesday, Wayne State University (WSU) researchers revealed the latest encouraging findings on their creation, called “Trophoblast Retrieval and Isolation from the Cervix,” or TRIC for short. Using a pap smear, they scraped trophoblasts — the cells that eventually help form a fetus’ placenta — from pregnant women’s cervixes and genetically sequenced the fetal DNA found inside with next generation technology. They then compared these samples to those obtained from the mother, placenta, and fetus via conventional means. Not only were

Maternal Consumption Of Sugary Foods, Drinks During Pregnancy May Increase Childrens Risk Of Allergi

Women who consume too many sugary foods and drinks during pregnancy may be increasing their children's risk of developing an allergy or allergic asthma, according to a study published in the European Respiratory Journal. The researchers looked at allergies that produce respiratory and skin symptoms, including dust mites, cats and grass. "Allergic asthma" causes breathing problems, like wheezing and coughing, in the presence of common allergens such as dust. Researchers from Queen Mary University of London used data gathered from nearly 9,000 mother-child pairs in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, an ongoing research project that tracks the health of families with children

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Dr. Jain is solely responsible for the information published on this website, which in no way represents the views and strategies of his employer. 

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