152 research outputs found

    The utility of all-freeze IVF cycles depends on the composition of study populations

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    Abstract Background Because often introduced without proper validation studies, so-called “add-ons” to IVF have adversely affected in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes worldwide. All-freeze cycles (embryo banking, EB) with subsequently deferred thaw cycles are such an “add-on” and, because of greatly diverging reported outcomes, have become increasingly controversial. Based on “modeling” with selected patient populations, we in this study investigated whether reported outcome discrepancies may be the consequence of biased patient selection. Results In four distinct retrospective case control studies, we modeled in four cohort pairings how cryopreservation with subsequent thaw cycles affects outcomes differently in good-, average- and poor-prognosis patients: (i) 127 fresh vs. 193 frozen donor-recipient cycles to model best-prognosis patients; (ii) 741 autologous fresh non-donor IVF cycles vs. 217 autologous frozen non-donor IVF cycles to model average prognosis patients; (iii) 143 favorably selected autologous non-donor IVF cycles vs. the same 217 frozen autologous cycles non-donor to monitor good- vs. average-prognosis patients; and (iv) 598 average and poor-prognosis autologous non-donor cycles vs. the same 217 frozen autologous non-donor cycles to model poor vs. average prognosis patients. In best-prognosis patients, EB marginally improved IVF outcomes. In unselected patients, EB had no effects. In poor-prognosis patients, EB adversely affected IVF outcomes. Unexpectedly, the study also discovered independent-of-age-associated chromosomal abnormalities, a previously unreported effect of recipient age on miscarriage risk in donor-egg recipients. Conclusions In poor-prognosis patients, EB cycles should be considered contraindicated. In intermediate-prognosis patients EB does not appear to change outcomes, not warranting additional cost and time delays. Therefore, only good-prognosis patients are candidates for EB, though they will experience only marginal benefits that may not be cost-effective

    Changing clinical significance of oocyte maturity grades with advancing female age advances precision medicine in IVF

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    Summary: In current IVF practice, metaphase-2 (M2) oocytes are considered most efficient in producing good quality embryos. Maximizing their number at all ages is standard clinical practice, while immature germinal vesicle (GV) oocytes are mostly automatically discarded. We present preliminary evidence that oocyte maturity grades with advancing age significantly change in their abilities to produce good quality embryos, with M2 oocytes significantly declining, GV oocytes improving, and M1 oocytes staying the same. These data contradict the over-40-year-old dogma that oocyte grades functionally do not change with advancing age, supporting potential changes to current IVF practice: (1) Stimulation protocols and timing of oocyte retrieval can be adjusted to a patient’s age and ovarian function. (2) In older and younger women with prematurely aging ovaries, GV oocytes may no longer be automatically discarded. (3) In some infertile women, rescue in vitro maturation of immature oocytes may delay the need for third-party egg donation

    Justice Through a Multispecies Lens

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    The bushfires in Australia during the Summer of 2019–2020, in the midst of which we were writing this exchange, violently heightened the urgency of the task of rethinking justice through a multispecies lens for all of the authors in this exchange, and no doubt many of its readers. As I finish this introduction, still in the middle of the Australian summer, more than 10 million hectares (100,000 km2 or 24.7 million acres) of bushland have been burned and over a billion individual animals killed. This says nothing of the others who will die because their habitat and the relationships on which they depend no longer exist. People all around the world are mourning these deaths and the destruction of unique ecosystems. As humans on this planet, and specifically as political theorists facing the prospect that such devastating events will only become more frequent, the question before us is whether we can rethink what it means to be in ethical relationships with beings other than humans and what justice requires, in ways that mark these deaths as absolute wrongs that obligate us to act, and not simply as unfortunate tragedies that leave us bereft

    Reduced RNA expression of the FMR1 gene in women with low (CGGn<26) repeats.

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    Low FMR1 variants (CGGn<26) have been associated with premature ovarian aging, female infertility and poor IVF treatment success. Until now, there is little published information concerning possible molecular mechanisms for this effect. We wished to examine whether relative expression of RNA and the FMR1 gene's fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) RNA isoforms differ in women with various FMR1 sub-genotypes (normal, low CGGn<26 and/or high CGGn≄34). This prospective cohort study was conducted between 2014 and 2017 in a clinical research unit of the Center for Human Reproduction in New York City. The study involved a total of 98 study subjects, including 18 young oocyte donors and 80 older infertility patients undergoing routine in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. The main outcome measure was RNA expression in human luteinized granulosa cells of 5 groups of FMRP isoforms. The relative expression of FMR1 RNA in human luteinized granulosa cells was measured by real-time PCR and a possible association with CGGn was explored. All 5 groups of FMRP RNA isoforms examined were found to be differentially expressed in human luteinized granulosa cells. The relative expression of four FMR1 RNA isoforms showed significant differences among 6 FMR1 sub-genotypes. Women with at least one low allele expressed significantly lower levels of all 5 sets of FRMP isoforms in comparison to the non-low group. While it would be of interest to see whether FMRP is also decreased in the low-group we recognize that in recent years it has been increasingly documented that information flow of genetics may be regulated by non-coding RNA, that is, without translation to a protein product. We, thus, conclude that various CGG expansions of FMR1 allele may lead to changes of RNA levels and ratios of distinct FMRP RNA isoforms, which could regulate the translation and/or cellular localization of FMRP, affect the expression of steroidogenic enzymes and hormonal receptors, or act in some other epigenetic process and therefore result in the ovarian dysfunction in infertility

    New national outcome data on fresh versus cryopreserved donor oocytes

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    Abstract Background Improvements in oocyte cryopreservation techniques and establishment of cryopreserved donor oocyte banks have led to improved access to and lower cost of donor oocytes, upending the traditional practice of fresh oocyte donation. The objective of this study was to examine national trends in utilization and live birth rates with fresh versus cryopreserved donor oocytes. Methods A retrospective analysis of 2013 through 2015 aggregate U.S. national data reported by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology which included 30,160 IVF cycles with either fresh or cryopreserved donor oocytes was performed. Results During the study period utilization of fresh oocyte donations rapidly declined by 32.9%, while cryopreserved oocyte donation increased by 44.4%. Fresh donor oocytes produced significantly higher live birth rates per recipient cycle start than cryopreserved donor oocytes (51.1% vs. 39.7%). Over the three-year study period fresh donor oocytes produced stable live birth rates per recipient cycle start while those with cryopreserved oocytes significantly declined year-by-year. Conclusion Despite rising popularity of cryopreserved donor oocytes, prospective patients should be counselled that fresh donor oocytes still represent standard of care due to higher live birth rates

    Shifting the limits in wheat research and breeding using a fully annotated reference genome

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    Wheat is one of the major sources of food for much of the world. However, because bread wheat's genome is a large hybrid mix of three separate subgenomes, it has been difficult to produce a high-quality reference sequence. Using recent advances in sequencing, the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium presents an annotated reference genome with a detailed analysis of gene content among subgenomes and the structural organization for all the chromosomes. Examples of quantitative trait mapping and CRISPR-based genome modification show the potential for using this genome in agricultural research and breeding. RamĂ­rez-GonzĂĄlez et al. exploited the fruits of this endeavor to identify tissue-specific biased gene expression and coexpression networks during development and exposure to stress. These resources will accelerate our understanding of the genetic basis of bread wheat