Mouse 2-cell embryo Photo: Miranda Bernhardt
The options available to couples facing infertility are increasing, whether or not a cancer diagnosis is involved. Assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs), such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), are becoming more and more common, and millions of healthy babies have been born with their help. With all this success, we might start to forget about the biology of it all--that the "in vitro" part of IVF litterally means "in glass"--IVF embryos go through fertilization and the first few days of embryonic development outside of their mother's body. We need to make sure we consider the effects that growing an embryo outside the body for a few days might have.