Successful In Vitro Fertilization Gives Life to 7 Healthy Puppies
Research into in vitro fertilization (IVF) recently yielded another milestone result after a Cornell University-led study lead to the birth of seven healthy litter of puppies.
According to CBS News, the puppies were born by injecting 19 mature embryos fertilized in a laboratory to a host female dog.
In vitro fertilization is not entirely new. There have already been a number of research and development pursuits in this area since the 1970's. At that time, IVF was initially done in human subjects. But getting similar results in animals, particularly dogs, remained elusive until now.
"Since the mid-1970s, people have been trying to do this in a dog and have been unsuccessful," told Alex Travis of Baker Institute for Animal Health in Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine as quoted saying in Cornell Chronicle.
Through a painstaking process of trial and error, the Cornell-led research sees more future breakthroughs not just in IVR but in other reproductive technologies.
What are the future implications of IVF-related studies?
For wildlife conservationists, IVF might just provide the solution they badly need as more and more endangered species are facing imminent threats of extinction. One of the ways by which conservation could be done using IVF is by freezing the sperm and eggs then fertilizing them at a later date.
Mr. Travis confirmed the possible application of IVF on the conservation of endangered species.
"We can freeze and bank sperm, and use it for artificial insemination", he said as reported by Telegraph Times.
Apart from wildlife conservation, analysts also see economic benefits in the further development of IVF technologies.
In an article published on PR News Wire, the projected market share of the IVF sector is worth $11.3 billion in 2021 as the population in the developed world shrinks due to low birth rate and again.