A vital gene could hold the key to IVF success, scientists have revealed
British scientists from the London Francis Crick Institute were given permission to genetically edit 41 human embryos.
In doing so, they discovered the gene Oct4, which they have revealed could be vital to a successful pregnancy, once egg implantation has taken place, according to The Sun.
Scientists have said that the breakthrough could lead to better outcomes in embryo selection and fertility treatments.
The researchers discovered that only a quarter of the embryos developed correctly and believe faulty DNA could be behind that.
The spare embryos were donated by couples who had completed their families
Strict rules on the experimentation of human embryos are governed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Association (HFEA) and the scientists were only given the go-ahead in 2016.
The researchers used a technique called Crispr to extract the Oct4 gene from the newly fertilised eggs, which stopped further development of the embryo.
The result suggests that the gene is vital for a successful pregnancy.
Professor Robert Lovell-Badge said: “Applying these methods will hopefully eventually lead to knowledge that can be applied to improve the success of IVF treatments, perhaps to reduce rates of implantation failure and miscarriage.”
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