Cryonics and Reproduction--developments

Kathryn Aegis (
Tue, 17 Nov 1998 20:30:55 -0800 (PST)

This is one of two postings that should have been posted weeks ago......

In mid-October, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine held its annual meeting, and unveiled several developments, one set of which may have implications for cryonics.

Several methods were used in these experiments. In one conducted by James Stachecki, et al, at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of Saint Barnabas, West Orange, New Jersey, a solution was prepared that replaced sodium with potassium and choline, with the end of reducing positive ionic charges. They then froze mouse eggs in nitrogen to test the procedure, and found that they could produce mouse embryos upon thawing. Testing on human eggs, 10 out of 10 thawed successfully and 9 were successfully fertilized, 7 developed into human embryos.

Researchers from Argentina claimed to have created 13 live embryos from 83 frozen eggs and transferred them into the wombs of 3 women. Could not find many details on this one, there seems to be some question as to the validity of the claim. They were the only group to implant in human women.

Kwang Yul Cha from Pochon CHA University, Seoul, Korea, has developed a technique utilizing the antifreeze ethylene glycol, which turns the fluid in the egg to a glassy substance instead of ice crystals. He experienced a 2/3 success rate in thawing and a 90 percent success rate in cell division. Unfortunately, the health of the cells were questionable and none were brought to the embryo stage.

Another technique being studied by researchers in England, France and Israel involves slicing out ovarian tissue that contains immature eggs, freezing the eggs in liquid nitrogen, thawing the tissue, and then implanting it into the thigh muscle of a mouse. (And these people think *we're* the wierd ones?) A team led by Joseph Itsokovitz-Eldor in Israel's Ramban Medical Center found that many of these grafts survived, but none of the eggs matured to the point of being able to be fertilized. The hope is of someday being able to restore a woman's menstrual cycle through this technique.