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October 4, 2010
In 1978, Louise Brown was born -- and won the distinction of being the world's first "test tube baby" because she was conceived thanks to then-innovative in-vitro fertilization techniques, or IVF, developed by British biologists. Since then, IVF has more than grown up. The Los Angeles Times reports Monday that the technique and one of its pioneers are making headlines anew in "IVF innovator Robert G. Edwards wins Nobel. " Use of such techniques, also called assisted reproductive technology, has more than doubled in the last decade and accounts for 1% of all infants born in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
July 12, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Fertility scientists gathered in Stockholm last week to present their latest research on in vitro fertilization, high-risk pregnancies and other topics at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference. Among the highlights: British researchers have figured out a way to assess which pregnant women are at greatest risk of miscarriage. After studying 112 high-risk women during their sixth through 10th weeks of pregnancy, the researchers determined that the amount of a woman's bleeding and her level of the hormone chorionic gonadotrophin could be combined into a “pregnancy viability index” that accurately predicted which women would go on to continue their pregnancies in 94% of cases as well as which would have miscarriages in 77% of cases.
January 12, 1988 | Reuters
A Michigan woman gave birth to four girls and a boy in what a hospital said today was the first delivery of "test-tube" quintuplets in the United States. The quintuplets, delivered by Caesarean section at Beaumont Hospital in suburban Royal Oak late Monday, ranged in weight from 1 pound, 14 1/2 ounces, to 3 pounds, 2 1/2 ounces, and were "in good shape," spokeswoman Deb Mero said. The births were about a month premature, she said.
May 5, 2012 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
For couples seeking to overcome infertility by turning to assisted reproductive technology - which can be invasive and expensive - an increased risk of birth defects probably won't stand in their way. Still, a study released Saturday by the New England Journal of Medicine may give some prospective parents a little something to think about as they mull their options for fertility treatment. The study is based on data from more than 300,000 births in the state of South Australia (population 1.6 million)
December 29, 2010 | By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health
The British media is abuzz with news that a triplet was born 11 years after her twin sisters. It seems that, in the age of frozen embryos, all is possible. The Daily Mail newspaper says experts proclaim the delayed birth to be a "record gap" for babies conceived at the same time via in vitro-fertilization. Twins Bethany and Megan Shepherd were born in Britain in 1998 and their remaining sister, Ryleigh, was born last month. Apparently the Shepherds have more embryos from the same batch on ice, the story says.
October 2, 2012 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Liam Neeson was a good sport for a national TV audience Monday afternoon, stripping down to snug pink underpants and gamely taking a soaking in the name of breast cancer research. Entering Ellen DeGeneres' stage to the strains of "Give It to Me Baby" while clad in a pink bathrobe, the "Taken 2" action star got his flirt on after DeGeneres explained to all that he'd be sitting in a dunk tank to earn $10,000 for the cause, helping kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month. "If I take this off, does the $10,000 become $20,000?
November 10, 2011 | Meghan Daum
When I first heard about Personhood USA, I got it confused with Up with People, the organization best known for song-and-dance troupes that go around the world singing songs like "Which Way America?" and "What Color Is God's Skin?" When I realized it was actually an anti-abortion group devoted to the idea that any fertilized human egg should be considered a person, I still couldn't shake the image of wholesome young performers spreading fetus love across the globe. Instead of singing about peace and "dances through the ages" they could sing about zygotes and implantation, though admittedly those lyrics might be tough to rhyme.
October 27, 2011 | By Melissa Healy/Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
Women who underwent at least one vitro fertilization cycle in an effort to become pregnant were almost twice as likely to develop ovarian cancer as women who experienced infertility but did not get such treatment, say the authors of a large Dutch study published this week. The study  is one of the largest conducted to date and tracked women for roughly 15 years after their first IVF cycle. Its findings appear to contradict those of an even larger Danish study published in 2009, which found no increase in cancer risk among women who had undergone infertility treatment.
The couple had tried for six years to have a baby. Repeated medical tests showed no obvious cause for their infertility. Finally, they underwent in vitro fertilization and had a lovely baby boy. Then, 11 months later, they had a lovely baby girl. The boy's conception was the result of much planning and agonizing and $10,000 worth of medical treatment. His sister's birth followed a surprise conception that cost nothing. How did it happen?
March 7, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
IVF treatment continues to be a popular choice for making babies. The treatment, known formally as in vitro fertilization, is successful in producing a live birth in 41.4% of treatment cycles for women under age 35, according to information released Monday by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. Data for 2009, the most recent year analyzed, showed the rate of live births per cycle with fresh embryos did not change much from 2008 when it was 41.3% for women under 35. However, that's still an improvement from 2003 when the rate of live births per cycle was 37.5% in that age group.
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