News & Publications

Fertility & Having Children

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.

FDA Amends Donor Embryo Regulations

ASRM Bulletins June 24, 2016

In a new final rule published in Wednesday’s Federal Register, FDA has amended regulations on donor eligibility, including the screening and testing of donors of particular human cells, tissues, and cellular ant tissue-based products (HCT/Ps).

Broker Accused of Stealing from Clients Trying to Have Babies Through Surrogacy

Headlines in Reproductive Medicine June 24, 2016

The founder of a San Diego-based business has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he stole more than $2 million from infertile clients who sought his help in finding surrogacy services.

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.

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.

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.

U.S. House Passes Bill to Allow IVF for Wounded Veterans

ASRM Bulletins June 23, 2016

At 3:00 am this morning and in the midst of a dramatic and hours long contentious sit-in on the House floor over the gun control debate, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to begin to offer IVF services to wounded veterans.  HR 2577, is a conference report to fund Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and related agencies and is a compromise between versions of the bill passed in both the House and Senate in the previous weeks. ASRM, working with RESOLVE and a coalition of veterans organizations, successfully lobbied those Members of Congress working to draft the compromise bill and urged them to retain the IVF provision, despite opposition from conservative groups with moral objections to assisted reproductive technologies.

Bioethics in China: No Wild East

Headlines in Reproductive Medicine June 23, 2016

The first and only published papers to describe genome modification in human embryos have come from Chinese laboratories. For some, this is another signal of China's successful transformation from a closed society focused on farming and the manufacturing of commodities to a world leader in innovation. For others, these studies are the latest in a list of feats reported over the past decade that reflect the country's lax regulation or cultural indifference to fundamental ethical tensions.

Fertility Treatment Not Tied to Twin Birth Defects

Headlines in Reproductive Medicine June 23, 2016

Twins born after fertility treatments may be susceptible to different -- and fewer -- birth defects than other twins, new research suggests. The study confirms that twins have a higher risk of birth defects than singletons, but it questions the notion that fertility treatments contribute to those abnormalities.


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