Tagging an oocyte

eggs

I had to write about this even though I’m not sure I totally understand it. Oocytes, nascent life, can now be tagged by embryologists much like animals in the wild. Is this catch and release in the lab?

The articles I’ve read all seem very excited about being able to do this, but none really say why or what the practical application of such technology is. So you can identify a developing embryo – isn’t it captured and cornered any way? Just how confusing can it get in the petri dish or uterus? Do you really need to keep tabs on an embryo whose whereabouts will be fairly well known for the next eight to nine months? They haven’t confirmed it’s possible with human oocytes yet – but that is coming soon.

Researchers from the Department of Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), in collaboration with researchers from the Institute of microelectronics of Barcelona (IMB-CNM) of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) had developed the id system for mouse embryos. They are tagged with silicone barcodes. The innocuous labels are sloughed off during the natural development of the embryo.

The objective, says the report, was to develop a system which minimizes risks when identifying female gametes and embryos during in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer procedures. It appears they are also trying to reduce the number of staff necessary to supervise such procedures.

I guess if there is question of keeping a lab neat and orderly to prevent mix up this could in fact be quite important especially if its non invasive and doesn’t threaten the baby in any way. And these kinds of embryo mix ups are devastating when discovered – if they are discovered. Which is a whole other topic.

Source: Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, ScienceDaily


 
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