Louise Brown, who was the world’s first baby to be born from in vitro fertilization (IVF) in 1978, poses with equipment used in early IVF treatments.
Daniel Leal-Olivas/ Getty
An unknown number of people have lost their dreams of parenthood because of storage disasters at fertility clinics. These experts note poor government oversight and the need for stronger regulation.
Human embryo research is used to understand foetal development and its applications in treating or eliminating disease.
In most countries, scientific research that uses human embryos has to halt after the 14th day. New guidelines recommend the public’s input in extending the time period.
Illustration of an early stage human embryo.
nobeastsofierce via Shutterstock
Plus, how a new wave of South African romcoms is reimagining Johannesburg. Listen to episode 17 of The Conversation Weekly podcast.
Researchers have grown mammal embryos later into development than ever before in an artificial womb.
Researchers have grown the first human-monkey hybrid embryos as well as mouse embryos in artificial wombs late into development. These biomedical breakthroughs raise different ethical quandaries.
Getting the job done. A female Asian water dragon (Physignathus cocincinus) produced a daughter (left) without the assistance of a male.
Skip Brown/Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Parthenogenesis, a form of reproduction in which an egg develops into an embryo without being fertilized by sperm, might be more common than you realized.
Genetic testing costs around A$700 per embryo.
Women aged over 35 are sometimes offered genetic testing of their IVF embryos to rule out abnormalities. But it’s expensive and doesn’t increase their chance of a baby. In fact, it could reduce it.
Men have nipples because of a quirk in how embryos develop. But that’s only part of the story of this seemingly redundant body part.
How embryos develop, evolution and sexual pleasure all help explain why men have nipples. But ‘man boobs’ are a different story.
Ethical frameworks, rules, laws: all try to have their say.
CRISPR technology could have momentous effects if it’s used to edit genes that will be inherited by future generations. Researchers and ethicists continue to weigh appropriate guidelines.
When it comes to reproduction, couple have more choices than ever before.
A ban on clinical trials involving gene editing rules out the controversial procedure done in China. But it also prevents procedures that could offer couples a chance for healthy children without genetic disorders.
He Jiankui claims he helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies: twin girls whose DNA he said he altered.
AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein
News of the gene-edited babies excludes images of the children’s mother. Cutting her out of the picture underscores the idea that the mother is obsolete and babies can be created in the lab.
Possible causes of limb malformations in babies born in rural areas of France.
Faces form during the very early stages of embryology.
Problems in facial development can occur with the skull, face, blood vessels, muscles, jaws and teeth. But it’s the hard palate forming the roof of your mouth that’s most commonly affected.
An embryologist pulls out frozen embryos and egg cells.
A recent ruling in an Ontario court fails to consider law governing the use of embryos.
When a cell divides, mitochondria are randomly allotted to the resulting new cells.
Odra Noel. Wellcome Images
The genes in our cells’ mitochondria are passed on in a different way than the vast majority of our DNA. New studies shed light on how the unique process isn’t derailed by mutations.
She’ll be more like me than you.
Parents’ DNA try to manipulate one another in a bid to shape junior in their mould.
With all these ‘test-tube babies’ grown up, how have our reactions to the technology evolved?
AP Photo/Alastair Grant
Americans have moved on from worrying about ‘test-tube babies’ – but there are still ethical challenges to resolve as reproductive technologies continue to advance.
There’s still a way to go from editing single-cell embryos to a full-term ‘designer baby.’
The news may have come as a surprise, but it probably shouldn’t have. A bioethics expert walks through how big a deal this announcement is – and what we should be considering now.
She must have had a successful pregnancy.
A new evolutionary perspective on what’s been a medical paradox: Why does the body use inflammation to regulate aspects of pregnancy when inflammation is also a big threat to pregnancy?
Developing lizard embryo beneath placental tissues.
Taking the placenta as a case study, researchers are able to piece together how new organs evolve, by repurposing old tissues and using them to do new jobs.
Well hello, Dolly.
Photo courtesy of The Roslin Institute, The University of Edinburgh.
In 1997, scientists announced they’d created a healthy sheep cloned from another ewe’s mammary gland cell. Two decades on, the technique is being refined and applied to new challenges.