Synopsis7 - Michael Savage Michael Segal Samuel...

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Michael Savage, Michael Segal, Samuel Trakhtenbroit, Eli Colman, Laurent Pilon 10/7/10 Week 7 synopsis Infertility, whether male of female, affects 10% of all couples and has been shown to have potentially negative, psychological side effects such as depression. Causes such as fallopian tube blockage and sperm immobility were outlined within the greater scope of the normal fertilization process. Next, the discussion focused on previous experiments that led to Edwards’ breakthrough. In 1935, Gregory Pincus shifted the focus to mammals, as he noted conditions in which an oocyte could mature in vitro, reaching metaphase II. In 1959, Min Chueh Chang showed that oocytes matured in vitro could also be fertilized in vitro and give rise to viable embryos and offspring. In 1963, Chang and Ryuzo Yanagimachi disproved sperm activation theory, as they demonstrated in vitro conditions through which sperm could fertilize oocytes and produce 2-cell embryos. Edwards utilized much of this research to finally determine that human oocytes needed 24-hour periods of incubation prior to maturation. Then, Barry D. Bavister developed a buffer system for in vitro activation of sperm, which Edwards used to finally demonstrate in vitro fertilization of human oocytes. Within the discussion, questions arose as to whether Edwards was truly deserving of the Nobel Prize, because much of his research was dependent on the work of other scientists. As a class, we resolved that all research depends on previous data and that Edwards’ discovery was too monumental to go unrecognized. A major breakthrough in IVF was the technique of laparoscopy. The time it had taken to mature oocytes outside of the body prevented embryos from developing past the two-cell stage. Dr. Patrick Steptoe had developed laparoscopy, a surgical method for viewing the female reproductive tract. This made it possible to remove mature oocytes. This method was refined by measuring the concentration of luteinizing hormones in the female’s urine to determine when the mature oocyte reach the metaphase stage of meiosis II in vivo. When a mature oocyte is removed (via laparoscopy) it is placed in a culture dish with medium that activates the sperm so fertilization can occur. The cell is placed back to the uterus at the 8 cell stage, after approx. 2.5 days. In 1978 Louise Joy Brown, the first IVF baby was born. One issue that was brought up in class was when the oocytes are considered mature. A mature oocyte is arrested in the metaphase stage of meiosis II until fertilization occurs and then the embryo will continue further development. This discovery also led to new procedures and new breakthroughs in health care.
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