This headline, like many good things in this world, is perhaps an exaggerated simplification of a scientific topic, yes, but an exaggerated simplification rooted in the latest research. A new NIH study found that PCBs—"mostly banned" chemicals with industrial uses—are linked to fertility problems, causing women to take longer to get pregnant. And how do you get PCBs in you? The WSJ explains:
The sonogram technician, Tina, is short, conservative. Her two children smile from pictures of birthday parties past, blonde and generic, proof that life in all its red, white and blue glory does go on. The younger of the two is missing teeth, mugging for the camera and aiming an ice cream cone directly at the viewer. You are not at the point where you resent other people's children, though you can see how it sometimes happens.
The Sperm Bike is a 120-pound, 10-foot bicycle rigged with a sperm-shaped tank of liquid nitrogen and—on business days—vials of human sperm ("pre-babies"). Based on a model used in Copenhagen, Seattle's sperm bike transports its cargo from the Seattle Sperm Bank to fertility clinics. Even though it's motorized, it's still better for the environment than sperm utility vehicles, spermships, and the Spermarine, the sperm-carrying submarines that were so popular in the 1930s.
Dr. Michael Kamrava, the Beverley Hills fertility doctor who shoved 12 embryos into the baby parts of soon-to-be-"octomom" Nadya Suleman in 2008, will lose his license to practice medicine as of July 1. Kamrava, the California Medical Board argued in its decision, should have referred Suleman herself to a mental-health evaluation instead of helping her give birth to eight future therapy patients; it also found that the doctor had not exercised "sound judgment" in the cases of two other patients, neither of which were as bizarre or interesting as "octomom." [People; image via AP]
When it comes to fertility, the only part of a man's nether region that matters is the part nobody ever bothered to measure: the taint. Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center have found that the "anogenital distance"—the distance between a man's scrotum and anus—correlates with male fertility. The greater the grundle, the higher the sperm count. If a man's balls and asshole are less than two inches apart, he is 7x more likely to be "sub-fertile" than his large-grundled peers.
Scientists have been trying to grow sperm in a test tube for over 100 years, and now they've done it. Researchers in Japan "have made fertile mammalian sperm in a culture dish," reports Nature. The scientists took fragments of mouse testes and coaxed sperm to grow from them in a petri dish; then they injected the sperm into eggs, put the fertilized eggs into mice, and real, live babies came out.
It's not just real estate and jewelry that's getting sold off amid the downturn. New Yorkers are selling off their genetic assets these days, too. Reps at the Sperm Bank of New York say there's been as much as a 25 percent increase in applications since December, while a local fertility center claims the number of women looking to sell their eggs—for a $10,000 payday—has doubled. Do note, though, that the centers say applicants are put through a "battery of screenings" to rule out anyone suffering from "economically induced stress." So if you've been reduced to ejaculating into a cup for cash, try and put on a brave face and not look too depressed about it. [AMNY]
One more sign that these are tough economic times: more and more women are selling their eggs for cash. According to fertility specialists, the number of women willing to go through with the ordeal of hormone treatments and fertility drugs has risen 30 to 40 percent over the past few months as more women are tempted by the a payday that can be between $5,000 and $10,000. The trend isn't limited to eggs. Sperm donations are up, too, which may explain what former Lehman Brothers bankers have been doing as of late (when they're not selling stuff on Ebay, of course). [ABC News]
"Is Halle Berry pregnant?" has basically been a recurring article in celeb weeklies since their covers featured Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra, so it took a while for us to wrap our minds around the idea that this time, Halle Berry is really actually, truly, up the stick. "Yes, I am three months pregnant! Gabriel and I are beyond excited, and I've waited a long time for this moment in life. Now the next seven months will be the longest of my life!" she told Access Hollywood last night. God, of all of our lives. (Plus, uh, ten months of gestation certainly sounds like too much to us!) So what will Halle call the long-awaited bundle? We're liking "Ivy F." (Or maybe Holly?) Thoughts? [Image via Splash News]
So the chatterers around the water cooler this week—we FULLY DO TOO have a water cooler in the office!—are still on about this Sunday's New York Times Modern Love column. For those of you who were lucky enough to be too high or too dead to read it, it's about a nice lady who went to the fertility clinic and came back with three feti. Fetuses. Whatever! Precious, beautiful thumbnails of human life! Very, very expensive thumbnails, it turns out. Bad news! Apparently, you paid a lot of money for them!