Test-tube babies: A cheaper technique?

2013-08-22 21:04

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

Stem cell burger unveiled

2013-08-05 15:36

Scientists have served up the first test tube grown beef burger made from stem cells. Watch.WATCH

kalahari.com

London - Since the first test-tube baby was born more than three decades ago, in vitro fertilization has evolved into a highly sophisticated lab procedure. Now, scientists are going back to basics and testing a simpler and cheaper method.

In the West, many would-be parents spend thousands of dollars for IVF, which involves pricey incubators and extensive screening.

But European and American scientists say a simplified version of the entire procedure aimed at developing countries could be done for about €200 with generic fertility drugs and basic lab equipment that would fit inside a shoebox.

"IVF is made to sound complicated, but the fact is that the early embryo is not very demanding," said Jonathan Van Blerkom, a fertility expert at the University of Colorado.

A human embryo doesn't need much beyond some basic solutions, a steady pH level and constant temperature, he said.

The simpler approach calls for women to take cheaper fertility tablets to stimulate their ovaries to release more than one egg per month.

In conventional IVF, expensive, potent drugs that are injected can produce more than 20 eggs.

Van Blerkom developed the simplified technique after European colleagues asked him how IVF could be done in developing countries.

"My first reaction was, 'You've got to be kidding,'" he said.

But with two test tubes and special solutions, "it's possible to generate the exact same conditions, or very similar, to what people are generating in a $60 000 incubator."

One test tube is used to prepare a solution including carbon dioxide, which creates the ideal conditions for fertilization.

That's piped into a second tube, where one egg and a few thousand sperm are added, before being placed in a heating block. 

After about two to three days, any resulting embryo is examined under a microscope before being transferred into the woman.

Van Blerkom and colleagues estimated that about half of all people seeking infertility treatment could potentially be helped by the method. Those who have complicated infertility problems, like men with severe sperm problems or women with very few eggs left, will still need standard IVF.

- AP

Read more on:    eu  |  health
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Cape Town - 12:28 PM
    Road name: N1 Inbound
    STATIONARY TRUCK blocking the Marine Drive exit
  • Friday Paarden Eiland - 12:20 PM
    Road name: Marine Drive Inbound
    QUEUING TRAFFIC towards N1 Highway
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB

There are no straight lines in nature. The Samsung  GALAXY...

From R3795.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be putting too much effort into someone or something. You are doing it out of love and compassion but there is a chance...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.