Test tubes make lousy wombs. Now comes a device that nurtures embryos like the real deal
By Sharon GuynupPosted 10.30.2007 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Since the 1978 birth of Louise Brown, the first test-tube baby, in-vitro fertilization (IVF) has produced approximately three million infants worldwide. Although success rates continually improve, the science of making babies in the lab is still hit-or-miss. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that less than 29 percent of IVF attempts result in the successful birth of a child.
In our March feature story, Sally Has 2 Mommies + 1 Daddy, life sciences associate editor Rebecca Skloot noted that each year, thousands of women expose themselves and their future children to fertility treatments . Yet most of these treatments have not been tested for safety, and are not subject to regulation. These technologies—like in vitro fertilization (IVF) and the method used for injecting sperm into eggs—have now been connected to a risk of serious birth defects.