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About Assisted Reproduction


Most assisted reproductive technologies (ART) are used to treat infertility. Others are used when there are no fertility problems. Embryo screening or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, for example, is used in order to prevent the births of children with specific genetic characteristics.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) refers to assisted reproduction procedures in which sperm and eggs are joined outside a woman's body. Women undergoing IVF are given hormonal drugs to promote the development of multiple eggs, which are retrieved with a minor surgical procedure. The eggs are mixed with sperm; one or more of those that fertilize are then transferred to the woman's uterus.

IVF has been in use since 1978 and has resulted in almost four million births worldwide. A number of IVF-related techniques have been introduced since then. Some of these, such as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and commercial gestational surrogacy, raise significant ethical and policy concerns. In the United States alone, the assisted reproduction business is estimated to create over $3 billion in revenues a year.

Research on the risks associated with ART is notoriously inadequate. There have been few follow-up studies either on women who have used ARTs or their children. The United States is also known for having few laws governing assisted reproduction and little oversight of ART facilities.



US Science Academies Take on Human-Genome Editing[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Sara ReardonNatureMay 18th, 2015National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine to develop guidelines for rapidly advancing technology to modify human embryos and germ cells.
Is it Time to Question the Ethics of Donor Conception?by Olivia GordonThe TelegraphMay 18th, 2015Donor-conceived children now have the right to identify their genetic parents, but for some like Joanna Rose the change was too little too late and not knowing can be "excruciatingly painful".
Unregistered Surrogate-Born Children Creating 'Legal Timebomb', Judge WarnsThe GuardianMay 18th, 2015Without a court-sanctioned parental order and improved international legal frameworks children could end up “stateless and parentless”.
Fertility Industry in Dire Need of Oversightby EditorialThe Washington ExaminerMay 15th, 2015Recent clashes highlight the necessity of revisiting the ethical and legal questions at the heart of a business that's based on the creation and commercialization of human beings.
The Genome Engineering Revolutionby Ryan Clarke and James HyunTech CrunchMay 13th, 2015The CRISPR-cas9 system makes gene editing in many organisms and cells — like our own egg, sperm or embryo — more efficient, accessible and simple than ever before.
Gene Editing of Human Embryos – More Ethical Questions to Answerby Dr Calum MacKellarBioNewsMay 11th, 2015While it is clear that the safety and efficiency of gene-editing procedures on early embryos give rise to significant biomedical challenges, a number of other ethical questions need to be addressed.
UC, MIT Battle Over Patent to Gene-Editing Toolby Lisa M. KriegerSan Jose Mercury NewsMay 9th, 2015UC Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna filed for a patent first. But in a shocking turn of events, MIT and Zhang won last month, earning the patent that covers use of CRISPR in every species except bacteria.
U.S. Couple Stuck in Mexico Due to Surrogacy Snafuby Rafael RomoCNNMay 8th, 2015An American couple who say they have been stuck in Mexico for weeks because officials there won't provide a birth certificate for their son believe a resolution could be close.
Meet the World’s First Baby Born With an Assist from Stem Cellsby Alice ParkTimeMay 7th, 2015Because the procedure is so new, some reproductive science experts are skeptical.
Stopping or Selling Human Germline Modification?by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesMay 7th, 2015Debate about human germline engineering has taken off since publication of a paper describing failed attempts to genetically modify a human embryo.
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