Dr Susan Avery, British Fertility Society spokesperson and clinical embryologist at Birmingham Women’s Hospital said:

“This is a fascinating piece of work, and any information that might help to identify developmental potential in human eggs, and hence render IVF treatment more efficient, is welcome. This study may not be easy to translate into clinical use, as this would require detailed additional observations which can be detrimental to human eggs and embryos in culture. However, if this issue could be overcome, it may ultimately be a useful addition to the selection criteria for human embryos.”

Dr Jane Stewart, British Fertility Society spokesperson and consultant gynaecologist at Newcastle Fertility Centre said:

“Egg quality is fundamental to the success of both natural conception and the success of fertility treatments.  In IVF the selection of the “best” embryo to replace remains key to live birth success but clinical approaches to this are not sophisticated.  This work adds to our understanding of how “good” eggs may function in the mouse model.  Whilst work remains to be done before it could be extrapolated into the clinical IVF setting, this study contributes to our basic understanding of reproductive physiology in a way which may ultimately enhance the ability to select that successful embryo more readily.”

Notes for editors

The full paper this statement is in response to can be found at: Adjuk et al. Nature Communications(2011), 2: 417 doi:10.1038/ncomms1424