A revolutionary method for detecting which human embryos are most likely to develop successfully to the stage at which they implant in the womb has been developed by scientists at the University of York and clinicians at Leeds General Infirmary.
The research has been funded by the Medical Research Council.
The discovery, if confirmed in clinical trials, could bring new hope for many couples undergoing fertility treatment since current failure rates are high. One of the problems is that embryos for replacement in the womb are currently judged by eye under the microscope but this method has not proved particularly successful in predicting their potential to give rise to a pregnancy.
The new method has been developed by Professor Henry Leese and colleagues in the Department of Biology at the University of York, together with members of the IVF Unit (In Vitro Fertilisation) at Leeds General Infirmary. Two days after fertilisation, embryos are placed in a culture medium containing amino acids and monitored in the laboratory to see how they consume or produce these amino acids.
Professor Henry Leese | alphagalileo
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Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
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