The powerful Black Lives Matter movement has brought recognition to the unnecessary use of force on the Black community and extrajudicial murders of countless people. Extrajudicial use of force is not the only way that Black souls are extinguished though. Reproductive and sexual healthcare are in drastic need of an overhaul, for the disproportionate mortality of Black babies and mothers and for the under-treatment of Black infertility.
The United States began tracking infant mortality rate by race in 1850. In over a century since then that gap, instead of shrinking with modern healthcare and sanitation, has actually GROWN. In 2017…
It goes without saying that quality assurance is an ongoing process in the IVF laboratory setting. Guidance for embryologists on what to monitor, appropriate levels of monitoring and best practice in this area is surprisingly unclear.
A good example of this kind of confusion can be found in cryo storage tank monitoring. Vacuum breaches can go unreported because there is so little data on how liquid nitrogen storage tanks behave when their vacuum is removed! (1)
Laboratory staff burn out
Senior laboratory staff ensure that staff, equipment, and the lab environment remains within the parameters of the IVF clinic’s Quality…
Most people haven’t given infertility a second thought, let alone the profession of embryology, until they are unfortunately faced with the need for infertility care.
An embryologist is a fertility specialist that helps to create embryos to either be used in IVF right away or to be frozen for later use. Embryologists aren’t MDs, but we are highly trained medical professionals, usually holding a Masters degree or a PhD due to the specialized nature of our work, topped off with complex board certifications.
We are the ultimate life-givers, making miracles happen in the form of healthy babies, to couples that…
We met hundreds of IVF professionals in person to discuss the hands on training programs for IVF nurses, embryologists and andrologists provided by EmbryoDirector / IVF Training Academy, complimentary competency assessments, and real time KPI tracking from ART Compass.
When carefully chosen, Key Performance Indicators (#KPI) can give lab managers a bird’s eye view of internal and external factors affecting laboratory performance.
Identified by ASRM 2018 as an educational need, a quality control program in the #IVF lab is crucial for assuring the delivery of optimal patient care and trouble shooting when outcomes are less…
Heather Huhman invited me to discuss epigenetics and infertility for the Beat Infertility Podcast. Below is a transcript, edited a bit for clarity and expanded in some sections. Join the conversation by liking ART Compass on Facebook.
What is epigenetics, and how does it differ from genetics?
I’m going to use one long analogy but, I want to flip the question and ask it this way “What is genetics and how does epigenetics differ from genetics?”
Starting with the very basics, your genome is an encyclopedia of cookbooks. Each cookbook is a chromosome, and each gene is a recipe contained…
Dear Lulu and Nana,
Welcome to the world, very special girls!!!
You are very special, not because of your DNA, but simply because you are human. While you will (likely) hold the distinction of being the world’s first CRISPR gene edited children, it is your humanity that makes your arrival worthy of praise, love, dignity, and celebration. There is nothing particularly special or unchangeable about our human DNA. We share thousands of base pairs of sequence with the oldest known bacteria. …
All of my gay friends have gotten married in the last few years, and are now looking to the next step: starting a biological family.
Gay marriage has been legal in the entire US since 2015, and in individual states since 2004. At the same time these civil rights battles were being fought and won, advances in infertility treatments, IVF, egg and sperm donation, and surrogacy have become more common, more affordable, and are even covered by insurance in some states.
The U.S. is one of the only locations in the…
Today, I have seen dozens of moms share “Breakfast With a Dose of Roundup?” an article from the Environmental Working Group that claims RoundUp has been found in kid’s cereal. This is an old claim that dates back to at least 2016, when I last wrote about this topic. Recently, Monsanto was ordered to pay $289 million following the ruling by a California jury that glyphosate (a.k.a. Roundup) is dangerous and likely contributed to Dewayne Johnson’s cancer. This has been a boon to EWG, and is allowing them to recycle all kind of old anti- GMO content and garnering millions…
Watch my full address here. https://youtu.be/QW2TU3p7uyA
Originally published at Genetic Literacy Project
One day in early spring, I received a unique email. Would I accept an invitation from Oxford University’s student debate society, the Oxford Union, to participate in a debate on human genetic engineering? I was to argue in opposition to the proposition: “This House Believes that Genetic Engineering Undermines the Nature of Humanity.” I accepted this invitation, and prepared to engage in this important scholastic tradition with all the gravity fitting of such an occasion; the opportunity for thought leadership in the field of genetic modification, for which…
*that are NOT Gene Editing
Watch my full CRISPR address at The Oxford Union here. https://youtu.be/QW2TU3p7uyA
There is a heady and hysterical goldrush to CRISPR ALL THE THINGS. And with good reason. These are not your grandpa’s GMOs.
“Second-generation” genome-editing tools can now precisely convert a single base into another without the need for double strand break or incorporating a gene from another organism. At the drop of a “nickase,” C can be converted to T, and A to G, generating a STOP codon and abolishing the need for complex knockout — strategies. (Review CRISPR fundamentals here.)