From the very moment when sperm fertilises an ova, a new embryo starts developing and a large number of cell divisions take place. This embryo development is observed in an in vitro fertilisation laboratory up until the blastocyst stage (day 5 or 6 of development). Sometimes during the cell division process, fragments of the embryo become isolated between cells that have developed correctly. These fragments come from embryo cell remains and can stop the embryo from developing correctly. One of the negative impacts consists of issues reaching the blastocyst stage and the posterior impact on implantation in the uterus. In fact, embryo fragmentation is one of the most significant characteristics used to determine embryo quality. […]
What are genetics and epigenetics?
Genetics and epigenetics are two, closely-related branches of biology. The former is much more well known and consists of studying how hereditary characteristics are passed on from generation to generation. DNA is the molecule in which genetic information is stored in a 4-letter code: A, C, G and T. The combination of letters is not a matter of chance. On the contrary, they combine in a precise manner because, in living things, the 4 letters make up the code for generating the instructions (genes) for synthesising all proteins. This DNA is in the nucleus of the cells linked to the histones around which DNA wraps itself, as if it were a spool of thread. […]
For as long as we can remember, we assume that we belong to certain standards. These standards are set based on the average population, just as children in pediatric check-ups are assessed by a percentile of height and weight. As adults we are assessed by our body mass index. In both cases, we try to reach an “average” rate.
What do we consider average?
This also happens at the embryonic stage. The process of embryo division observation is established to assess whether or not embryos are normal. This observation should be performed at specific times, so that each embryo is observed and evaluated daily.