Friday, October 15, 2010
Phys.Org is reporting that two siblings have been born a generation apart, after one was frozen in embryo form for almost twenty years (hat tip: Lee Hamilton's blog): "The baby’s unnamed mother, 42, is from the US and had been undergoing IVF for 10 years without success. Then last year an embryo that had been kept frozen for almost 20 years was thawed out and implanted into her uterus. The baby boy was born in May and weighed 6 lb 15 oz (about 3 kg). The embryo, along with four others, was created as a result of IVF treatment that resulted in one of the embryos being successfully implanted in the mother and brought to full term. The remaining embryos were then donated anonymously for “adoption” by other couples, and frozen. ... The woman's doctor, Director of the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine at the Eastern Virginia medical school, Dr. Sergio Oehninger, said the patient had been receiving fertility treatment unsuccessfully for many years, but her persistence had now paid off. Dr. Oehninger’s research showed that keeping the embryos frozen for a long time does not affect their viability, and it may be possible for them to remain viable 40 years or more, although Oehninger said it would be unlikely such an old embryo would be used as this would mean a new generation using embryos of a previous generation. This issue has already been raised with a mother in 2007 freezing some of her own eggs for the use of her daughter (then 7), who has a medical problem that will probably leave her infertile. If she uses the eggs, her child would also be her own half-sister or brother."