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Note to any women prepping for (or undergoing) in-vitro fertilization (IVF): Consider adding comparative genomic hybridisation (CGH) to the long list of acronyms you need to know. CGH -- the latest screening tool researchers have devised to check oocytes (or egg cells) for a full range of chromosomal disorders -- can help parents-to-be learn even more about their embryos and improve the success rates of IVF. Best of all, in a new announcement, researchers announced that the two women taking part in this first-ever controlled CGH study have given birth to healthy babies.
The babies, twins born in Germany in June and a boy born in Italy in September, are the first babies born via this pilot study. These births -- along with several still-going-on pregnancies in the study -- are a positive sign of the importance of this new screening method, which will be most helpful for women over the age of 37 who undergo IVF and for women with a history of miscarriage or IVFs that didn't lead to a live birth.
"Two out of three embryos we transfer fail to implant as a pregnancy, many of them because of these abnormalities," said Luca Gianaroli, chairman of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) and one of the scientists who worked on the study, in a statement. With this technology, experts have yet another way to assess the chromosomal quality of the embryos that are transferred. Up next: The pilot study gets upgraded to an international clinical trial to begin in 2011.
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