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King's College London - Health: More than a medical matter



A mammalian embryo in the first stage of development, when the fertilised egg has grown into a hollow ball made up of a few hundred cells.

Articles using this Glossary Item

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Sharp rise in multiple births for older mothers

25 November 2013 - by Ari Haque

A report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the number of multiple births among women over 45 has increased by 23 percent in the past year. The increase is thought to be in part due to more older women using IVF treatment to conceive... [Read More]

First baby born from 'cheaper' gene sequencing of IVF embryos

08 July 2013 - by Siobhan Chan

A 'powerful' form of genome analysis could improve embryo selection for IVF, according to scientists who report that the first baby has been born from this method... [Read More]

Time-lapse embryo imaging boosts IVF success, clinic claims

20 May 2013 - by Emma Stoye

A new technique for monitoring embryo health could increase the chance of IVF couples having a healthy baby, according to researchers at a private fertility clinic... [Read More]

Patenting parthenotes: High Court asks if parthenotes are 'human embryos' under the Biotech Directive

29 April 2013 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

The UK's High Court has asked the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to clarify if human parthenotes fall under the definition of a human embryo for the purposes of patentability... [Read More]

German Brüstle decision puts spotlight on national patent guidelines

17 December 2012 - by Julian Hitchcock

In November the case of Brüstle v Greenpeace was remitted to the German Federal High Court. How would a national court interpret the controversial ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union which held that patent rights could not be granted in the EU for the use of any entity 'capable of commencing the process of development of a human being'?... [Read More]

German court upholds Brüstle patent as valid

03 December 2012 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

The German Federal Court of Justice has ruled that a disputed patent held by Dr Oliver Brüstle, and the subject of a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) against the patentability of human embryonic stem cells, is valid in its revised form.... [Read More]

Event Review: Have Your Say on Mitochondria Replacement (Manchester)

03 December 2012 - by Dr Iain Brassington

Under the law as it stands in the UK, only 'permitted' embryos may be implanted into a woman. Permitted embryos are those that have not been genetically modified, and are not formed from genetically modified gametes... [Read More]

Chromosome screening may increase IVF success in older mothers

29 October 2012 - by Lucy Harris

Using a new IVF technique could considerably increase older women's chances of pregnancy, a small clinical trial presented at a fertility conference suggests... [Read More]

Adding missing protein 'kick-starts' infertile sperm in lab tests

01 October 2012 - by Daryl Ramai

Adding a missing protein to infertile human sperm gives the sperm the ability to successfully fertilize an egg, a lab-based study reports... [Read More]

Under right conditions, IVF approaches birth rates of natural conception

02 July 2012 - by Dr Sarah Spain

For the first time, researchers in the USA have calculated cumulative success rates of infertility treatments that use IVF or assisted reproductive technologies (ART), and have showed that overall success rates come close to that of natural conception.... [Read More]

Progress Educational Trust Conference: Growing Concern?

19 December 2011 - by Mila Roode

The consequences of assisted reproductive technology (ART) are a matter of great concern, whether this is the development of the embryo, the perinatal health of the mother, or the ongoing health of the child.... [Read More]

Ban on embryonic stem cell patents by European Court of Justice

24 October 2011 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that stem cell processes which require the prior destruction of human embryos or are based upon the use of human embryos are not patentable. The decision may have wide implications for scientists engaged in embryonic stem cell research.... [Read More]

Breakthrough in stem cell research - world's first reprogrammed adult cell

10 October 2011 - by Dr Louisa Petchey

US scientists have for the first time created 'personalised' human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) using a form of cloning. The result is a significant milestone on the route to using stem cell-based therapies but the researchers stress more work is to be done as genetic errors in the cells means they are not yet suitable for therapeutic use.... [Read More]

First mammalian stem cells grown with only one set of chromosomes

12 September 2011 - by Dr Lux Fatimathas

UK researchers have for the first time created mouse embryonic stem cells using just one set of chromosomes. Most mammalian cells, except sperm and eggs, are diploid, meaning they contain two sets of chromosomes. The ability to produce haploid cells, that contain only one set of chromosomes, may prove helpful in revealing the different functions of our genes.... [Read More]

Embryo's survival can be predicted based on egg's movement

15 August 2011 - by Tamara Hirsch

Rhythmic activity detected in newly fertilised mouse eggs may provide a novel and non-invasive screening method for identifying embryos most likely to survive a full-term pregnancy, according to research published in Nature Communications... [Read More]

Stem cells, pigs and replacement organs

27 June 2011 - by Dr Rebecca Robey

Scientists in Japan have reported the production of mice that have rat's organs. They suggest that one day this technique could be used to grow spare human organs in another species such as pigs, easing organ shortages and reducing long waiting times for transplants... [Read More]

Transferring single embryos: Education ain't enough

23 May 2011 - by Dr Alan Thornhill

When asked why having twins isn't a good idea, I struggle. I start trotting out the party line, the obstetric risks and risks to the babies themselves, and then begin to shuffle my feet. It's complicated, I say, hoping they will move onto another topic... [Read More]

New PGD technology guidelines published for the genetic testing of IVF embryos

01 November 2010 - by MacKenna Roberts

The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) has published an updated set of best practice guidelines for fertility clinics on the use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) techniques... [Read More]

Celebrating 20 years of preimplantation genetic diagnosis

23 July 2010 - by Professor Alan Handyside

At the beginning of this month, following the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) annual meeting in Rome, a workshop was held to celebrate 20 years of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)... [Read More]

Pronuclear transfer may give families affected by mitochondrial disease a choice

19 April 2010 - by Dr Kristina Mills and Dr Marita Pohlschmidt

Research at Newcastle University funded by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign has shown that it might be possible to prevent mitochondrial diseases being passed from mother to child... [Read More]

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