Can music improve the chances of a positive pregnancy result for IVF conceptions? An audience of 380 embryos in Barcelona are the subjects of an experiment to determine the role of music in conception. Antonio Orozco treated his youngest audience ever (I assume) to a special concert, you can read the article here and watch the concert here:
I can’t wait to find out if this experiment increases the pregnancy results for these embies. My first thought on reading this is that the women who are hoping to gestate these embies would be more likely to benefit from a personal concert a little more than the embies themselves, if music lowers stress levels maybe it also increases the chances of conception.
Recent research reported in The Guardian today states that women wanting to conceive in their 40s will have a greater chance of success they use donor eggs from a younger woman or freeze their own eggs in their twenties or thirties to ensure success in their forties. I’m pretty sure this is not the first report suggesting that women should freeze their eggs in their twenties or thirties if they think they may want to conceive in their later thirties or forties. You can read the report here. Perhaps this is the future of reproduction? Women and men freezing their gametes in the twenties, getting on with careers and setting up a home in the thirties and starting a family with their frozen gametes in their forties….. why not? According to Richard Dawkin’s reproducing “later in life” leads to a longer life. Perhaps biotechnologies mastery of reproduction is less dystopian and more utopian – if you want a long life, freeze your gametes…?
Our understanding of what it is to be a person encompasses the potential beginnings of becoming a person. The human embryo is regulated according to it’s potential to become a person and is therefore legally protected. How the embryo can be used is limited (with variations, depending on the country). An article in ‘The Glow’ today discusses ‘Modern Family’ actor Sophia Vergara custody battle with her ex-husband over their cryo-preserved embryos:
According to Genea‘s Fertility Specialist, Dr Devora Lieberman, there are a few options you can consider.“The embryo can be transferred into the woman, if her ex-partner consents, with the hope of making a baby,” she explains.”Otherwise, the embryos can be discarded, donated to research or, in some clinics, they can be donated to other couples trying to have a baby.”
The final (theoretical) option, depending on the clinic, is for the embryos to be saved for their stem cells in case an existing child may need them in their future:
There is another option, but Dr Lieberman says it’s theoretical at this stage: “Embryos could be kept as a potential source of stem cells (if a child needed a stem cell transplant in the future) but nobody’s done it yet. It comes down to what an embryo represents ethically, so it’s theoretical at this point.”
A human embryo holds a fascinating potentiality; to become life, to save a (sibling?) life, to extend kinship groups… as well as the potential to become waste and all the ethical, moral and legal thought emerging apace with bio-medical technologies and knowledge. This example (you can read the full article here) is interesting because it is basically a battle over an imagined future, or more exactly, a potential future.