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A Simpler, More Affordable Method Of IVF

American and European researchers are currently testing a procedure that uses generic fertility drugs and simpler equipment and could end up costing less than US$300.

What's the Latest Development?


University of Colorado scientist Jonathan Van Blerkom and colleagues have developed a simplified form of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) involving generic fertility drugs and fewer pieces of equipment. Women taking the drugs release fewer eggs than they would using more expensive injectable versions, and with two test tubes, special solutions, and heat, Van Blerkom says "it's possible to generate the exact same conditions, or very similar, to what people are generating in a $60,000 incubator." Current trials in Belgium show that for the 100 or so women who have participated to date, the pregnancy rate and number of infants born was about the same for both traditional IVF and the simplified version.

What's the Big Idea?

Traditional IVF has long been out of reach for many infertile couples, since it often requires several cycles costing thousands of dollars each. Van Blerkom decided to tackle the issue after being asked how to bring the treatment to those in developing countries, where the pressure to have children can be intense and where infertility is one of the consequences of untreated sexually-transmitted diseases. Plenty of people in other countries would benefit from a cheaper fertility method also, says London fertility center director Geeta Nargund: "You should not have to be rich just to have IVF."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
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Masturbation boosts your immune system, helping you fight off infection and illness

Can an orgasm a day really keep the doctor away?

Sexual arousal and orgasm increase the number of white blood cells in the body, making it easier to fight infection and illness.

Image by Yurchanka Siarhei on Shutterstock
Sex & Relationships
  • Achieving orgasm through masturbation provides a rush of feel-good hormones (such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) and can re-balance our levels of cortisol (a stress-inducing hormone). This helps our immune system function at a higher level.
  • The surge in "feel-good" hormones also promotes a more relaxed and calm state of being, making it easier to achieve restful sleep, which is a critical part in maintaining a high-functioning immune system.
  • Just as bad habits can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system which can prevent you from becoming sick.
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Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

How DNA revealed the woolly mammoth's fate – and what it teaches us today

Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.

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