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Upcoming Methods to Help Choose the Best Eggs

by Dr. Susan Daniel

Using high-speed photography, scientists at the University of Cambridge, UK have discovered that the insides of mouse eggs pulse and vibrate after fertilization. They found that the speed and direction of the movements was highly predictive for the ability of an egg to develop into a viable embryo. Dr. Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, one of the scientists working on the study believes that this is the fastest, easiest, and possibly the safest method available to determine whether a mouse egg has the potential to develop successfully.

The method has not been used on human eggs yet, but Dr. Zernicka-Goetz does not see why it should not work. She says that the insides of human eggs move in similar ways to mouse eggs. The scientists are hoping to be able to collaborate with an IVF clinic in the UK to determine if the method can be applied to the human. It could prove to be an invaluable tool to determine which embryos are viable and capable of resulting in pregnancy.

Weintraub, K. “Choosing the good eggs”. 09 Aug 2011. http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/38259/

Related Topics: embryo development, fertility of human eggs, IVF, Washington Fertility Center