Science Finds Fireworks at Conception
Why is This Amazing?IVF – In-Vitro Fertilization has a 50% success rate. The medical team performing the procedure randomly picks the best eggs to be inserted into the uterine lining. But with this new research, things may change – and statistics may rise. If doctors can witness a woman’s eggs being fertilized and determine which have the greatest spark, the chances of a successful and healthy pregnancy increase drastically. They can assess the egg quality prior to implantation like they have never been able to do before.
The Research“Scientists activated the egg by injecting a sperm enzyme into the egg that triggers calcium to increase within the egg and zinc to be released from the egg. (The eggs in the study were not fertilized with actual sperm because that is not permitted in human research under federal law.)” Five years ago, researchers discovered the zinc spark in mice eggs, but this is the first time it has been witnessed in human eggs. “All of biology starts at the time of fertilization, yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human. This discovery required a unique partnership between biologists and chemists and non-federal dollars to support the research,” Woodrow said. Woodruff is the Thomas J. Watkins Memorial Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and director of Northwestern’s Center for Reproductive Science. In a companion paper published in Scientific Reports on March 18, a zinc spark is shown at the precise time a sperm enters a mouse egg. This discovery was made by Zhang, a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern. Zhang said little is known about the events that occur at the time of fertilization, because it is difficult to capture the precise time of sperm entry. The study was published April 26, 2016 in Scientific Reports.
Let the Fireworks ExplodeIf you are pursuing In-Vitro Fertilization, or trying to conceive the old fashioned way – think ‘Fireworks!’ Let the sparks fly!