Applications of Animal Embryo Culture Research to Human IVF and Embryo Transfer Programs

  • Susan Heyner


The motivation for many reproductive biologists to study early developmental processes is the specter of overpopulation. The figures are grim; for example, India is estimated to have a billion inhabitants by the year 2000. Similarly, birth rates remain extremely high throughout Africa, a continent that is facing continual shortfalls in food production. However, the other side of the coin is the problem of infertility. In traditional societies, particularly those of Asia and Africa, a childless woman is the object of scorn and pity. Even in Western societies where adoption has been common, the combination of increased rates of infertility and the difficulty of finding appropriate adoptive babies has exacerbated the problems of the childless couple. Thus, many reproductive biologists have come to realize that although the global imperative of halting population growth is still of paramount importance, the individual right to reproduction must be recognized, and in cases of infertility, ameliorated in so far as is possible. Furthermore, the study of normal processes, albeit in vitro, may lead to important new insights regarding in vivo early reproductive processes, and enhance our ability to develop new and acceptable contraceptive techniques.


Mouse Embryo Fallopian Tube Preimplantation Embryo Human Oocyte Childless Woman 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Heyner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyAlbert Einstein Medical CenterPhiladelphiaUSA

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