In 2007, Europe led the world in the use of assisted reproduction technologies, with nearly 500,000 women undergoing high-tech treatments like IVF to get pregnant. That same year, 90,000 babies were born who owe their lives to biotechnology.
This week in Rome, Italy, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology held its 26th annual meeting to discuss everything from new fertilization techniques to statistics on how many babies are born via IVF and other high-tech treatments.
A release from the conference breaks down some of the numbers:
According to data presented by the European IVF Monitoring Group (EIM), 479,288 treatment cycles were reported in 32 European countries in 2007. This compares globally with 142,435 cycles from the US and 56,817 cycles from Australia and New Zealand . . . In 28 [European] countries where [fertility] clinics reported deliveries, more than 90,000 babies were born in 2007. There were 118,667 regular IVF treatments, 246,687 intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles, 74,855 frozen embryo transfer cycles (FER), 15,028 egg donor cycles (ED), 6,822 preimplantation genetic diagnosis/screening cycles (PGD/PGS) and 660 in vitro maturation cycles (IVM).
What boggles the mind is the way this kind of reproductive technology, which barely existed two decades ago, has fundamentally changed the way hundreds of thousands of people have children. In Europe alone, in just one year, 90 thousand babies were born through technological intervention. The new generation is the result of a biotech revolution, their lives created in labs. Does this pave the way for acceptance of other kinds of molecular biotech tinkering with our offspring, like tweaking genes or combining the genetic material from more than two parents?
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