Why more women are having babies at 50 and beyond

Being a trailblazer is familiar territory for Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill. She was the first disabled vet to serve in Congress, the first Asian American representative to be elected from Illinois and come spring she'll chalk up another milestone -- the first Senator to give birth while serving in the chamber. Duckworth is expected to deliver her second child a few weeks after she turns 50, a time when many woman expect the end of fertility and the beginning of menopause to be around the corner. The Senator said she delayed having children to pursue her career and, by the time she was ready, she had to overcome infertility. "The early part of my career, which was also, [like] for most women,

Breakthrough as scientists grow sheep embryos containing human cells

Growing human organs inside other animals has taken another step away from science-fiction, with researchers announcing they have grown sheep embryos containing human cells. Scientists say growing human organs inside animals could not only increase supply, but also offer the possibility of genetically tailoring the organs to be compatible with the immune system of the patient receiving them, by using the patient’s own cells in the procedure, removing the possibility of rejection. According to NHS Blood and Transplant, almost 460 people died in 2016 waiting for organs, while those who do receive transplants sometimes see organs rejected. “Even today the best matched organs, except if they com

Inflammation in testes could explain link between obesity and reduced fertility

A new study sheds light on how obesity may contribute to male infertility. Published in open-access journal Frontiers in Physiology, the study reports that obese men have increased levels of inflammatory markers in their seminal fluid and lower sperm quality, both of which correlate with their body mass index (BMI). The findings suggest that chronic inflammation in male reproductive organs explains the link between obesity and reduced fertility. Obesity is a significant global health issue and is on the increase. In addition to variety of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, obesity is also linked to reduced sperm quality and male infertility. Scientists have also

Lab-grown eggs could pave way towards new fertility treatments

Human eggs have been fully grown in a laboratory, in a move that could lead to improved fertility treatments. Scientists have grown egg cells, which were removed from ovary tissue at their earliest stage of development, to the point at which they are ready to be fertilized. The advance could safeguard the fertility of girls with cancer ahead of potentially harmful medical treatment, such as chemotherapy. Immature eggs recovered from patients' ovarian tissue could be matured in the lab and stored for later fertilization. Conventionally, cancer patients can have a piece of ovary removed before treatment, but reimplanting this tissue can risk reintroducing cancer. The study has also given insig

New CRISPR method efficiently corrects Duchenne muscular dystrophy defect in heart tissue

Scientists have developed a CRISPR gene-editing technique that can potentially correct a majority of the 3,000 mutations that cause Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) by making a single cut at strategic points along the patient's DNA, according to a study from UT Southwestern Medical Center. The method, successfully tested in heart muscle cells from patients, offers an efficient alternative to the daunting task of developing an individualized molecular treatment for each gene mutation that causes DMD. It also opens up possible new treatment approaches for other diseases that have thus far required more intrusive methods to correct single-gene mutations. Scientists say the new strategy enhance

2nd man has gene editing; therapy has no safety flags so far

A second patient has been treated in a historic gene editing study in California, and no major side effects or safety issues have emerged from the first man's treatment nearly three months ago, doctors revealed. Gene editing is a more precise way to do gene therapy, and aims to permanently change someone's DNA to try to cure a disease. In November, 44-year-old Brian Madeux became the first person to have gene editing inside the body for a metabolic disease called Hunter syndrome that's caused by a bad gene. Through an IV, he received many copies of a corrective gene and a genetic tool to put it in a precise spot in his DNA. "He's doing well and we were approved to go ahead with the second pa

As many as 1 in 20 US kids harmed by alcohol in the womb, study says

More children have been affected by drinking during pregnancy than previously thought, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Up to one in 20 American kids falls somewhere on the spectrum of disorders caused by maternal drinking, according to the study's more conservative estimate. But that number could be as many as 1 in 10, using another approach outlined in the study. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are a group of conditions that may include abnormal growth and facial features, intellectual disabilities and behavioral problems, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We have long thought and believed that estima

Scientists Just Cloned Monkeys. Humans Could Be Next.

Since the birth of Dolly the sheep in 1996, scientists across the globe have used the same technique to clone nearly two dozen other animal species, including cats, dogs, rats, and cattle. Primates, however, had proven resistant to the process — until now. In a new study published in Cell, a team of Chinese researchers led by Qiang Sun at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai reveal that they’ve found a way to tweak the Dolly cloning technique to make it work in primates. Their efforts have resulted in the birth of two cloned female macaques: Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua. The technique used to clone Dolly, somatic cell nuclear transfer, involves replacing the nucle

A CRISPR Future: Five Ways Gene Editing Will Transform Our World

Over the past few years, CRISPR has been making headlines. Experts predict that this gene editing technology will transform our planet, revolutionizing the societies we live in and the organisms we live alongside. Compared to other tools used for genetic engineering, CRISPR (also known by its more technical name, CRISPR-Cas9) is precise, cheap, easy to use, and remarkably powerful. Discovered in the early 1990s, and first used in biochemical experiments seven years later, CRISPR has rapidly become the most popular gene editing tool among researchers in fields such as human biology, agriculture, and microbiology. Scientists are still in the earliest stages of figuring out how we can use CRISP

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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. 

Chicago, Illinois, United States