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Aurora magazine

Can embryos be obtained with fewer chromosomal abnormalities?

Researchers at the University of Montreal have reduced the chromosomal abnormalities of a sample of mouse embryos. This is an unprecedented discovery that could improve current in vitro fertilization techniques. In fact, the anomalies, even when they do not translate into real diseases, reduce the chances of success of IVF. About 50% of the embryos generated by in vitro fertilization contain chromosomal abnormalities.

The most widespread are aneuploidies, or cells with an abnormal number of chromosomes. This anomaly is thought to be the leading cause of infertility, but the mechanisms are not yet known. The study in question managed to explain at least part of it. Part of the aneuploidy could occur during the so-called "assembly of the mitotic spindle". By manipulating this mechanism with drugs, it is possible to reduce the likelihood of anomalies by 50%. To this end, the researchers administered a drug called proTAME to embryos.

Those treated in this way have developed far fewer cells with an abnormal number of embryos. The discovery opens up a new range of possibilities for human beings, despite being in the early stages. Nevertheless, before working on human embryos, further study and analysis of all possible implications must be carried out. We do not know what the long-term consequences could be and if, over time, treatment could give rise to new problems.