While the ethics of human cloning has dominated recent discussion of reproductive technologies, research involving human embryos has always been a political hot potato, entangled with the twin issues of abortion and the beginning of human life. Restrictive policies and negative public attitudes surrounding embryo research have made it increasingly difficult for the infertility research community to improve the success rates for assisted reproductive technologies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), such methods are successful only 20 percent to 30 percent of the time. Yet, despite an increasingly restrictive regulatory climate (see story below), infertility investigators are making progress toward improving assisted reproductive technologies.

'VERY PRELIMINARY EXPERIMENT': NYU's James Grifo is exploring an alternative to egg donation.
"When you think about it, we were forced to do the world's largest human experiment with infertility patients, because we couldn't do embryo research," says James A. Grifo, a...

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