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Supreme Court Rejects Religious Objections to Sale of Contraceptives

Headlines in Reproductive Medicine June 29, 2016

Conservatives were disappointed and liberals were encouraged by the Supreme Court decision Tuesday to reject an appeal in a case involving the sale of emergency contraceptives and religious liberty. In effect, the high court let stand a July 2015 lower court ruling that a Washington State statute was OK to protect women's access to contraceptives.

20-Something, with Menopause

Headlines in Reproductive Medicine June 29, 2016

I received a diagnosis of acute myelogenous leukemia in my mid-20s, and after five months in the hospital and a year in medically required isolation, I felt like an old lady, fragile and tired.

Some Women with PCOS May have Adrenal Disorder, Researchers Suggest

Headlines in Reproductive Medicine June 28, 2016

A subgroup of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a leading cause of infertility, may produce excess adrenal hormones, according to an early study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Male Mitochondrial DNA Found to Self-Destruct After Arrival in Embryo

Headlines in Reproductive Medicine June 28, 2016

A team of researchers with members from Taiwan, the U.S., China and Japan has found that mitochondrial DNA from sperm that makes its way into an embryo begins to self-destruct before autophagosomes in the cytoplasm can reach it. In their paper published in the journal Science, the researchers describe their study involving the close monitoring of male mitochondrial DNA activity immediately after an embryo has been fertilized and as it is subsequently destroyed—they also offer some theories regarding why this occurs.

The Strange Story of a Fertility Drug Made With the Pope’s Blessing and Gallons of Nun Urine

Headlines in Reproductive Medicine June 27, 2016

Piero Donini, a scientist working in the late 1940s for the Italian pharmaceutical company that would later be known as Serono, was the first to extract and purify FSH and LH, the hormones that stimulate ovulation. The hormones are found in women’s urine, which is why pregnancy tests can be conducted on urine samples. After experimenting with urine from pregnant women, Donini discovered the highest levels of the hormone actually were in post-menopausal women. After menopause, when ovaries stop producing eggs, FHS and LS shoot up as the body tries to stimulate their production.

Senate to Take up House Bill on Zika Funding

Headlines in Reproductive Medicine June 27, 2016

The House is not in session this week, providing lawmakers a timeout after last week’s tumultuous Democratic sit-in. But senators will be in town, and they have a fight of their own coming over a spending package to address the Zika public health threat.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Abortion Restrictions in Texas

Headlines in Reproductive Medicine June 27, 2016

The Supreme Court has overturned a Texas law requiring clinics that provide abortions to have surgical facilities and doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The law was predicted to close many clinics and further reduce availability of abortion in Texas; the court has ruled the law violated the Constitution.

Bill Covering In Vitro Fertilization for Injured Veterans Clears the House

Headlines in Reproductive Medicine June 24, 2016

The House of Representatives on Thursday passed an appropriations bill that includes a provision to pay for assisted reproductive technology for veterans who suffered injuries that prevent them from having a child naturally.

Why Do We Inherit Mitochondrial DNA Only From Our Mothers?

Headlines in Reproductive Medicine June 24, 2016

Our mitochondrial DNA accounts for a small portion of our total DNA. It contains just 37 of the 20,000 to 25,000 protein-coding genes in our body. But it is notably distinct from DNA in the nucleus. Unlike nuclear DNA, which comes from both parents, mitochondrial DNA comes only from the mother. Nobody fully understands why or how fathers’ mitochondrial DNA gets wiped from cells. An international team of scientists recently studied mitochondria in the sperm of a roundworm called C. elegans to find answers.

When Parents Use Egg Donors, Telling Kids Early May be Best

Headlines in Reproductive Medicine June 24, 2016

When children learn at an early age that their parents used an egg donor, the disclosure process is easier than when the kids don’t hear the facts until they’re older, a recent study suggests.


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