The US should brace itself for a “national wave of fertility fraud”


A new field of litigation has evolved in the United State: denouncing fertility fraud. In the latest episode, a nation-wide firm, Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway, announced that it was pursuing two fertility doctors who allegedly used their own sperm a generation ago to get women pregnant and without informing them.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, according to Adam Wolf, the lawyer handling the cases. He claims that hundreds of fertility fraud cases will emerge across the US as people begin to investigate their geneology using home DNA testing kits.

In the first case, a San Francisco woman discovered that both of her children were the offspring of her fertility doctor, Dr Michael S. Kiken. Furthermore, through Kiken, the children are carriers of Tay Sachs disease.

In the second case a San Diego woman sought the help of Dr Philip Milgram in 1988 for artificial insemination, which resulted in the birth of their son. Milgram told her that he had used the sperm of a healthy and anonymous sperm donor — but he allegedly used his own instead.

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The AI doctor will see you now


A lightbox showing a mammogram xray

Advances in neural networks and other techniques promise to transform health care while raising profound questions about our bodies and society.

AI software can identify early signs of breast cancer long before the disease can be diagnosed by conventional means.

When MIT professor Regina Barzilay received her breast cancer diagnosis, she turned it into a science project. Learning that the disease could have been detected earlier if doctors had recognized the signs on previous mammograms, Barzilay, an expert in artificial intelligence, used a collection of 90,000 breast x-rays to create software for predicting a patient’s cancer risk.

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This 61-year-old woman just gave birth to her own granddaughter


 Matthew Eledge and Elliot Dougherty of Omaha, Nebraska, needed a surrogate to carry their baby. They never expected she would turn out to be Matthew’s mother.

When Matthew Eledge and his husband, Elliot Dougherty, told Matthew’s mother, Cecile, that they were planning to start their family, Cecile thought fondly of her own parental journey. She’d loved being pregnant decades earlier with her three now-grown children.

“If you want me to be the gestational carrier,” she told Matthew, “I’d do it in a heartbeat.”

Matthew, 32, and Elliot, 29, appreciated the gesture, but, they thought, let’s be real — it’s not like that would ever happen. A postmenopausal 61-year-old couldn’t possibly be equipped to carry and give birth to a baby. Right?

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The ‘game-changing’ technique to create babies from skin cells just stepped forward


Scientists in Japan made progress recently in the quest to combat infertility, creating the precursor to a human egg cell in a dish from nothing but a woman’s blood cells. The research is an important step toward what scientists call a “game-changing” technology that has the potential to transform reproduction.

The primitive reproductive cell the scientists created is not a mature egg, and it cannot be fertilized to create an embryo. But researchers have already created eggs out of mouse tail cells and fertilized them to produce viable pups, so outside scientists said the research is on track to one day achieve human “in vitro gametogenesis” — a method of creating eggs and sperm in a dish.

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Soulcycle of fertility sells egg-freezing and ’empowerment ‘ to 25-year-olds


There’s something eerily familiar about the Kindbody aesthetic.

How do you build a cult following for an egg-freezing clinic?

Gina Bartasi, CEO of Kindbody, a fertility startup that launched in New York City at the beginning of August, has a few ideas. For one, a bright yellow van stationed on a Friday in the middle of Manhattan and then on a Sunday in the Hamptons — offering free testing for the anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) associated with reserves of healthy eggs. For another, never announce anything too far in advance.

Kindbody has one brick-and-mortar location so far, two blocks from Trump Tower. It’ll be open to patients later this month, and they’ll spend the next six months building a bigger flagship on 16th Street. To find out where the next pop-up event will land, or where the next “boutique retail location” will open, you’ll have to follow the company on Instagram. When making these real estate decisions, Bartasi told The Verge she asks herself two questions: “Where is SoulCycle opening up? What is Drybar doing?”

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Egg freezing growing in popularity, but the choice leaves no guarantees

egg retrievel

Among urban women in their 30s, freezing is trending.

Tiffany Angelo gave herself a few months to grieve after the abrupt end of her marriage. Then she moved on. Not to the next romance, but to something she could plan for: the children she deeply desired and would still have. With or without her ex.



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UK government proposes regulations on making ‘three-parent embryos’


Technique lets children avoid inheriting certain diseases – and give them genes from another woman besides mom.

Last week, the U.K. government issued proposed regulations that would allow researchers to try a new and controversial in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure in patients. The technique could allow women who are carriers of mitochondrial disease to have healthy, genetically related children. But it also transfers DNA from one egg or embryo into another, a form of genetic alteration that could be passed on to future generations. Altering the genes of human egg cells or embryos in IVF procedures is now forbidden in the United Kingdom.



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Four women with transplanted wombs are trying to get pregnant with IVF

pregnant woman

Doctors successfully transplanted wombs into nine women.

Four women who underwent womb transplants have received embryos in an attempt to get pregnant, according to Swedish doctors. The women are the recipients of wombs from their mothers or other relatives, as part of an experiment to see whether a womb transplant can yield a successful pregnancy. The embryos are the result of in vitro fertilization before the women had their transplants.



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Record number of test tube babies born in the U.S.


The growing percentage reflects, in part, the increasing average age at which women give birth for the first time.

In 2012, more test-tube babies were born in the United States than ever before, and they constituted a higher percentage of total births than at any time since the technology was introduced in the 1980s, according to a report released on Monday.



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Altering DNA to produce a genetically-modified human could begin in 2014


In vitro fertilization (IVF)—involving DNA from three parents—could become legal in the UK by July.

The prospect of altering DNA to produce a genetically-modified human could move from science fiction to science reality by the middle of 2014.  The UK parliament is likely to vote on whether a new form of in vitro fertilization (IVF)—involving DNA from three parents—becomes legally available to couples by July. If it passes, the law would be the first to allow pre-birth human-DNA modification, and another door to the future will open.



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