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The baby makers: The science behind healthier embryos and better IVF

By Andi Horvath

Reproductive biologist Professor David Gardner explains what we're still learning about healthy embryo development, how it's being applied to improve IVF technologies, and the unexpected insights it may offer into how cells implant themselves and proliferate, including how cancers take hold.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

DR ANDI HORVATH
Hi I’m Andi Horvath, thanks for joining us. In the late 20th century scientists developed IVF to assist couples who couldn’t conceive naturally. The term in vitro fertilisation, IVF, actually refers to the creation of an embryo in a dish, but that’s really only half the picture. An embryo then has to be transferred to a uterus and implantation has to take place. In the early days of IVF, multiple embryos were transplanted increasing the chances that one would take, but often the result was multiple births, such as triplets, bringing with it a new set of pregnancy and parenting complications. But IVF has moved on with improvements to the technology.

Our guest today on Up Close is reproductive biologist, David Gardner. He’s been instrumental in growing our understanding of what makes for a viable embryo and the optimal conditions needed for embryos to thrive after transplantation. David’s work has contributed to making single embryo transfer as the standard for IVF today and as David will tell us, studying embryo viability is giving us unexpected insights into the world of cell growth and proliferation beyond IVF including potentially how cancers take hold.

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The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.