IVF: the Squishy Squashy Technique to check Embryo Viability

Checking Embryo Viability? Give It a Good Squeeze

Much like a piece of ripe fruit, a human embryo has a certain squishiness that could provide fertility clinic staff with clues about its viability, a new study finds.


Human oocyte developmental potential is predicted by mechanical properties within hours after fertilization, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, Article number: 10809, doi:10.1038/ncomms10809, February 24, 2016.

The causes of embryonic arrest during pre-implantation development are poorly understood.

Attempts to correlate patterns of oocyte gene expression with successful embryo development have been hampered by the lack of reliable and nondestructive predictors of viability at such an early stage.

Here we report that zygote viscoelastic properties can predict blastocyst formation in humans and mice within hours after fertilization, with >90% precision, 95% specificity and 75% sensitivity. We demonstrate that there are significant differences between the transcriptomes of viable and non-viable zygotes, especially in expression of genes important for oocyte maturation. In addition, we show that low-quality oocytes may undergo insufficient cortical granule release and zona-hardening, causing altered mechanics after fertilization.

Checking Embryo Viability? Give It a Good Squeeze, livescience, February 25, 2016.

Our results suggest that embryo potential is largely determined by the quality and maturation of the oocyte before fertilization, and can be predicted through a minimally invasive mechanical measurement at the zygote stage.

Addyi Flibanserin HSDD Drug has Limited Benefits and produces Negative Effects

‘Female Viagra’ safety, efficacy questioned

The safety and efficacy of flibanserin, a controversial drug aimed at increasing female libido, return to the spotlight as a systematic review study highlights the results of unpublished trials. The “female viagra” drug, finally approved last year by the US Food and Drug Administration has limited benefits and produces negative effects,


Efficacy and Safety of Flibanserin for the Treatment of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder in Women, A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, JAMA Intern Med. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.8565 2497781, February 29, 2016.

In August 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved flibanserin as a treatment for hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women, despite concern about suboptimal risk-benefit trade-offs.

To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials assessing efficacy and safety of flibanserin for the treatment of HSDD in women.

Data Sources
Medical databases (among others, Embase, Medline, Psycinfo) and trial registries were searched from inception to June 17, 2015. Reference lists of retrieved studies were searched for additional publications.

Study Selection
Randomized clinical trials assessing treatment effects of flibanserin in premenopausal and postmenopausal women were eligible. No age, language, or date restrictions were applied. Abstract and full-text selection was done by 2 independent reviewers.

Data Extraction and Synthesis
Data were extracted by one reviewer and checked by a second reviewer. Results were pooled using 2 approaches depending on the blinding risk of bias.

Main Outcomes and Measures
Primary efficacy outcomes included number of satisfying sexual events (SSEs), eDiary sexual desire, and Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) desire. Safety outcomes included, among others, 4 common adverse events (AEs): dizziness, somnolence, nausea, and fatigue.

Five published and 3 unpublished studies including 5914 women were included. Pooled mean differences for SSE change from baseline were 0.49 (95% CI, 0.32-0.67) between 100-mg flibanserin and placebo, 1.63 (95% CI, 0.45-2.82) for eDiary desire, and 0.27 (95% CI, 0.17-0.38) for FSFI desire. The risk ratio for study discontinuation due to AEs was 2.19 (95% CI, 1.50-3.20). The risk ratio for dizziness was 4.00 (95% CI, 2.56-6.27) in flibanserin vs placebo, 3.97 (95% CI, 3.01-5.24) for somnolence, 2.35 (95% CI, 1.85-2.98) for nausea, and 1.64 (95% CI, 1.27-2.13) for fatigue. Women’s mean global impression of improvement scores indicated minimal improvement to no change.

‘Female Viagra’ safety, efficacy questioned in new study, medicalnewstoday, February 29, 2016.

Conclusions and Relevance
Treatment with flibanserin, on average, resulted in one-half additional SSE per month while statistically and clinically significantly increasing the risk of dizziness, somnolence, nausea, and fatigue. Overall, the quality of the evidence was graded as very low. Before flibanserin can be recommended in guidelines and clinical practice, future studies should include women from diverse populations, particularly women with comorbidities, medication use, and surgical menopause.

9ème Journée Internationale des Maladies Rares

Ensemble, faisons entendre la voix des malades

En France, l’Alliance Maladies Rares, collectif de plus de 200 associations et porte-parole des malades et de leur entourage, organise cet événement dans les régions depuis sa création en 2008.

9e Journée internationale des maladies rares, alliance-maladies-rares.org, 29/02/2016

Evénement annuel organisé un 29 février, jour rare, la Journée internationale des maladies rares est l’occasion d’unir nos forces et de sensibiliser aux défis quotidiens à relever pour Faire entendre la voix des malades ! Pour sa 9e édition, la journée sera relayée par de nombreux acteurs sensibles à la cause des maladies rares dans plus de 85 pays dans le monde. 30 millions d’européens, dont 3 millions de Français, sont concernés par l’une des 6000 à 8000 maladies rares dénombrées.

Le slogan, Ensemble, faisons entendre la voix des malades s’adresse au plus grand nombre afin d’unir l’ensemble des forces pour que les besoins des malades et de leurs familles soient mieux pris en compte et ainsi trouver des solutions communes, obtenir des traitements, des soins, des ressources et des services nécessaires pour améliorer le quotidien des personnes concernées.

Le Distilbène DES, maladie rare, en savoir plus

Rare Disease Day 2016 Poster

Download the RDD infopack 2016

Rare Disease Day takes place on the last day of February each year.

The main objective of Rare Disease Day (RDD) is to raise awareness among the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients’ lives.

OrphaNet, portal for rare diseases and orphan drugs, includes the Diethylstilbestrol DES syndrome as rare disease ORPHA:1916.

More information

How much do you know about DES?

EDCS: Are Boys turning into Girls because of Man-made Chemicals?

Endocrine Disruptors: Boys turning into Girls…

” Recently we are seeing accelerated puberty in young girls, alarming increase in the men with extremely low sperm counts and transgender phenomenon growing at alarming pace.

Endocrinologist have found out that endocrine disruptor found in man made common chemicals like DES, dioxin, PCBs, DDT , plasticizers and in many more chemical we use daily are responsible for this unusual phenomenon.

Endocrine disruptors gets locked in to your fatty tissues and they can not be excreted out of our bodies as they are insoluble in water and they get accumulated during our entire life time. Endocrine disrupting chemicals disturbs the endocrine glands that releases hormones into the bloodstream to control various organs of the body. The endocrine glands includes the pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, thymus, pancreas, ovaries, and testicles. Developing fetuses and infants are are more vulnerable to endocrine disruptors.

In 50s and 60s doctor prescribed a synthetic estrogen called diethylstilbestrol (DES) to pregnant women with the goal to prevent miscarriages which was later found to contain endocrine disruptors. Over five million women were effected by this drug. Miscarriages,spontaneous abortions, premature births ,birth defects of the the uterus,ovaries,immune system defects,undescended testicles, malformed sperm in boys,chronic depression and other psychiatric disorders were reported. Use of estrogen have caused breast cancer in some women. With not much of government control over this chemical manufacturer let us follow simple precaution to save our next generation:

  • Educate yourself,your family and friends about endocrine disruptors.
  • Use organic pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Do not give young children soft plastic teether or toys.
  • Buy organic food whenever possible.
  • Do not store fatty foods or water in plastic containers.
  • Use glass article were ever possible.
  • It is better to use natural estrogen replacement for men who require hormone replacement therapy. “

Medical research results: why outcome switching matters

Some researchers are doing a bait-and-switch with medical data

Medical research outcome switching is an extremely common problem that distorts the evidence doctors use to make real-world clinical decisions.

These doctors want to fix a huge problem with drug trials. Why isn’t anyone listening?, vox, February 25, 2016.

When studying a drug or device, researchers measure dozens of health outcomes to understand how the new technology works. Before they start a clinical trial, however, they’re supposed to pre-specify which outcomes they really care about on public clinical trials registries… The idea is that researchers won’t later selectively publish the most positive or more favorable outcomes and drop the negative ones.

…In the real world, unfortunately, researchers sometimes cherry-pick results, leaving doctors and patients with a skewed picture of how drugs and devices actually work…

How did NEJM respond when we tried to correct 20 misreported trials?, compare-trials, February 25, 2016.

Il y a une certaine omerta concernant les victimes de médicaments

Interview de Clotilde Cadu par Europe 1, février 2016

Interview de Clotilde Cadu par Europe 1 diffusée mardi 22 février 2016.

Auteure de “Effets indésirables, victimes des médicaments”, la journaliste Clotilde Cadu évoque le “déni” dont souffrent les victimes.

Les victimes de médicaments, toutes celles qui disent : ‘j’ai eu un éventuel problème avec ce médicament’, on les renvoie très souvent dans les cordes, en leur disant : ‘ce n’est pas possible, c’est dans votre tête’,’vous avez mangé quelque chose qui ne va pas’, etc. C’est là-dessus que je voulais alerter, pour ces personnes laissées sur le bord du chemin

insiste Clotilde Cadu.

Sur le même sujet

Distilbène 1, Laboratoires M Borne

Nombre de sociétés ont promu et vendu leur médicament DES sous plus de 200 noms de marque différents

Image via la rédaction d’Allodocteurs.fr, 09/10/2013.

Le Diethylstilbestrol ou DES a été commercialisé via de nombreux noms tels que le Distilbène®, Stilbetin®, Stilboestrol-Borne®, Benzestrol®, Chlorotrianisene®, Estrobene® et Estrosyn® par exemple.

Nombre de sociétés ont promu et vendu leur médicament DES sous plus de 200 noms de marque différents.

Images de médicaments DES

Le Distilbène DES, en savoir plus

Glyphosate persists in water and soil longer than previously thought

Glyphosate persistence raises questions

The widely used weedkiller glyphosate persists in water and soil longer than previously recognised, and human exposures to glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) are rising.


Concerns over use of glyphosate-based herbicides and risks associated with exposures: a consensus statement, BioMed Central, DOI: 10.1186/s12940-016-0117-0, 17 February 2016.

The broad-spectrum herbicide glyphosate (common trade name “Roundup”) was first sold to farmers in 1974. Since the late 1970s, the volume of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) applied has increased approximately 100-fold. Further increases in the volume applied are likely due to more and higher rates of application in response to the widespread emergence of glyphosate-resistant weeds and new, pre-harvest, dessicant use patterns. GBHs were developed to replace or reduce reliance on herbicides causing well-documented problems associated with drift and crop damage, slipping efficacy, and human health risks.

Initial industry toxicity testing suggested that GBHs posed relatively low risks to non-target species, including mammals, leading regulatory authorities worldwide to set high acceptable exposure limits. To accommodate changes in GBH use patterns associated with genetically engineered, herbicide-tolerant crops, regulators have dramatically increased tolerance levels in maize, oilseed (soybeans and canola), and alfalfa crops and related livestock feeds. Animal and epidemiology studies published in the last decade, however, point to the need for a fresh look at glyphosate toxicity. Furthermore, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer recently concluded that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

In response to changing GBH use patterns and advances in scientific understanding of their potential hazards, we have produced a Statement of Concern drawing on emerging science relevant to the safety of GBHs. Our Statement of Concern considers current published literature describing GBH uses, mechanisms of action, toxicity in laboratory animals, and epidemiological studies. It also examines the derivation of current human safety standards. We conclude that:

  1. GBHs are the most heavily applied herbicide in the world and usage continues to rise;
  2. Worldwide, GBHs often contaminate drinking water sources, precipitation, and air, especially in agricultural regions;
  3. The half-life of glyphosate in water and soil is longer than previously recognized;
  4. Glyphosate and its metabolites are widely present in the global soybean supply;
  5. Human exposures to GBHs are rising;
  6. Glyphosate is now authoritatively classified as a probable human carcinogen;
  7. Regulatory estimates of tolerable daily intakes for glyphosate in the United States and European Union are based on outdated science.

Glyphosate persistence raises questions, chemistryworld, 25 February 2016.

We offer a series of recommendations related to the need for new investments in epidemiological studies, biomonitoring, and toxicology studies that draw on the principles of endocrinology to determine whether the effects of GBHs are due to endocrine disrupting activities. We suggest that common commercial formulations of GBHs should be prioritized for inclusion in government-led toxicology testing programs such as the U.S. National Toxicology Program, as well as for biomonitoring as conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Feb 29 is Rare Disease Day! RDD2016 official video

Raise awareness about DES during Rare Disease Day!

#RDD2016 official video by @rarediseaseday for #RareDisease awareness

Raise awareness about DES during Rare Disease Day ! Use tags #RDD2015 #RareDisease #RareDiseaseDay .

The main objective of Rare Disease Day is to raise awareness amongst the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients’ lives.

More information
Is DES a rare disease? How much do you know about DES?