An Australian woman received a transplant of her own healthy ovarian tissue after her ovaries were removed due to cancer. It was transplanted into her abdomen where it grew eggs that led to a successful pregnancy following traditional IVF. Amazing — and great news for women facing a terrible disease. Here’s the story.
What would you do with another 75 years on this Earth? Not as a pain wracked wizened elder in a nursing home, but as a vibrant super-centenarian with the energy of a 30 year old? Sonia Arrison is here to tell you it’s not only possible, it’s coming soon. The author, journalist, futurist and Silicon Valley insider’s latest book, 100+, explores the science and the fallout of extending our lifespans. Easy to read, and easy to understand, 100+ walks you through the incredible achievements in regenerative medicine we’ve already seen, projects them forward, and discusses the changes in environment, economy, family, and religion that will follow.
“NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Healthier sperm may mean longer life, according to a study that followed more than 40,000 Danish men for up to 40 years.
In an interview with Reuters Health, Dr. Tina Kold Jensen, who was involved in the study, said: “No matter what you look at, the risk of dying is decreased if you have a good semen quality compared to low; the poorer the semen quality, the higher the risk of dying.”
It’s a fact that as humans age, the chance of getting cancer increases. Unfortunately for Carmen Bousada and her twin boys, she fell to the disease much earlier than she had expected. Her own mother had lived to 101 years, so she assumed she would have another 30 years or so left to raise her children. Some will argue that assisted fertility at 66 years is irresponsible, yet if Ms. Bousada really could have lived to 100 years in a healthy state, then having children at that age is perfectly reasonable. With technologies to repair humans accelerating daily, it may be the case that Ms. Bousada’ expectations were only slightly ahead of her time.
Here’s more on the story from AP.
This bolsters the argument that “stem cells can generate any cell in the body,” and also has big ramifications for future fertility technologies.
“Researchers at Newcastle University in England report they have coaxed the first human sperm cells from embryonic stem cells, in a remarkable demonstration of how quickly the field of stem-cell science is moving.
The achievement, described in the journal Stem Cells and Development, comes just 11 years after the first human-embryonic-stem-cell line was created — an eyeblink in scientific terms — in the lab of James Thomson at the University of Wisconsin…”
From The Week (a magazine I love):
Men can make sperm until they die, but women are born with a finite number of eggs in their ovaries—or so scientists have long believed. But a new study by Chinese scientists has found that with some hormonal stimulation, female mice can make new eggs late in life—opening the possibility that women can, too.
Here’s the longer story.
This is yet another success story from the fertility sector. The interesting thing is that when the man froze his sperm, the technique used for creating his baby had not yet been invented. His faith that one day it might has now paid off for him as he now has a beautiful baby girl.
In a related story, The Scientist reports that the idea that women are born with all the eggs they will ever have may not be true. New research in mice shows the potential for new eggs to be grown after a female is born. It will be interesting to see where this goes and if it leads to easier ways to create new eggs for fertility treatments.
Most men I know think they don’t have an “expiry date” when it comes to having children, but the evidence is starting to point out that they do. Given that most of the research in turning back biological clocks is focused on women’s bodies, perhaps one day it will be women of any age that are looking for younger men when they decide to have children.
The news of octuplets born recently near Los Angeles shocked many people, especially since the mother, Nadya Suleman, already had six children and is reported to be jobless and living with her parents. Such rare stories certainly sell newspapers, but they can also lead to knee-jerk calls for overly restrictive regulation, which threaten freedom and innovation.
Already, comment boards and blogs around the Web are rife with calls for greater government oversight of the reproductive technology field. Yet Nadya Suleman’s story is atypical and obscures the great strides being made in assisted reproduction due to the reality that the field is relatively free from bureaucratic interference. An international comparison illustrates this point.
Last month, UK newspapers were gushing with the news of the first British baby to be genetically screened before conception for a breast cancer gene. This is great news for the baby, who will now avoid a 50 to 85 percent chance of developing breast cancer, but it is old news for people living in the United States. According to Sean Tipton of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, screening for the BRCA1 cancer gene in embryos has been “common practice for at least five years in the U.S.” If that’s the case, why is Britain only seeing its first baby pre-screened for a damaging cancer gene now? The answer is regulation.
Read more here.
This woman from Calgary is by no means the oldest to give birth, but her case brings attention again to the use of fertility technologies as human longevity is extended. This topic will constitute a chapter in my upcoming book, so stay tuned!