What's the Buzz

What's the Buzz

Baby from embryo frozen 20 yrs ago
A healthy baby has been born from a frozen embryo that is 20 years old, potentially giving women the chance to put off motherhood until their 40s or 50s.

It is the longest time a fertilised egg has been stored before developing into a healthy baby. The newborn’s 42-year-old mother, who lives in the US, had undergone 10 years of IVF but was unable to conceive.

But last year a frozen embryo — created by another couple — was implanted into her womb and in May she gave birth to a boy weighing 3.15 kg. The embryo was created with four others when the couple were having successful IVF treatment in 1990.

When one was successfully implanted, they donated the other four for ‘adoption’ and they were frozen. Two decades later the four embryos were offered to the 42-year-old woman and her husband at the US clinic where they were undergoing fertility treatment.
Only two embryos survived the thawing process and they were planted in the woman’s womb. One survived, and the pregnancy went full term. This scientific breakthrough could eventually lead to thousands of women having children in middle age.

Kids learn from few grazed knees or bruised elbows
In a bid to get rid of Britain’s ‘cotton wool culture’ and encourage youngsters to play outdoors, new health and safety regulations have recommended that children should be encouraged to climb trees and graze knees.

In a move, which has been hailed as a victory of common sense, new guidelines say children should be allowed to take risks while councils have been warned not to pander to over-anxious parents.

A report issued by the Health and Safety Executive and Play England says organisations designing play areas should allow for a ‘few grazed knees or bruised elbows’ if children gain from the experience, for example learning how to ride a bike on rough ground or use a climbing frame.

Mick Conway, of Play England said 17,000 guides have already been ordered by local authorities and schools hoping to build modern play areas.

He emphasised that the guide still insisted the play area is as “safe as reasonably possible” and protects against major injuries.

But if children can benefit from challenges like climbing, running or trying new stills then it allows for minor injuries.

Nanoparticles can be orally taken for bowel diseases
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University have developed a system for delivering small bits of genetic material into the body to improve the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases.

These particles of RNA are encapsulated in particles called thioketal nanoparticles and orally delivered the genetic material directly to the inflamed intestines of animals.

“The thioketal nanoparticles we designed are stable in both acids and bases and only break open to release the pieces of RNA in the presence of reactive oxygen species, which are found in and around inflamed tissue in the gastrointestinal tract of individuals with inflammatory bowel diseases,” said Niren Murthy.

These particles protect the RNA from the harsh environment of the gastrointestinal tract and target them directly to the inflamed intestinal tissues.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox