Tuesday, 28 December, 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !!

Can you top this ---- I doubt it.
As the story goes, the guy that owns this house lives north of Cincinnati ,Ohio .. Police were constantly being called for traffic jams and accidents in the neighborhood so they asked him to shut it down during certain hours. Instead he started charging by car load to pay off duty police to be there.The guy is supposedly a real computer GEEK. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did....Merry Christmas!!!!

Sunday, 26 December, 2010

Vaginal steam bath finds a place among Southern California spa options

Pungent steam rises from a boiling pot of a mugwort tea blended with wormwood and a variety of other herbs. Above it sits a nude woman on an open-seated stool, partaking in a centuries-old Korean remedy that is gaining a toehold in the West.

Vaginal steam baths, called chai-yok, are said to reduce stress, fight infections, clear hemorrhoids, regulate menstrual cycles and aid infertility, among many other health benefits. In Korea, many women steam regularly after their monthly periods.

There is folk wisdom — and even some logic — to support the idea that the carefully targeted steam may provide some physiological benefits for women. But there are no studies to document its effectiveness, and few American doctors have even heard of it.

"It sounds like voodoo medicine that sometimes works," said Dr. Vicken Sahakian, medical director of Pacific Fertility Center in Los Angeles.

Niki Han Schwarz believes it worked for her. After five steams, she found she had fewer body aches and more energy. She also became pregnant eight months ago at the age of 45 after attempting to conceive for three years.

Han Schwarz and her husband, orthopedic surgeon Charles Schwarz, are determined to introduce vaginal steam baths to Southern California women. Their Santa Monica spa, Tikkun Holistic Spa, offers a 30-minute V-Steam treatment for $50. (The identical treatment is available for men, to steam the perineal area.)

At Daengki Spa in Koreatown, a 45-minute V-Herbal Therapy treatment can be had for $20 a squat. The steam includes a mixture of 14 herbs imported from Korea by spa manager Jin Young. The spa's website claims the treatment will "rid the body of toxins" and help women with menstrual cramps, bladder infections, kidney problems and fertility issues. "It is a traditional Korean health remedy," according to the website.

Across the country, chai-yok treatments are not easy to find. They are available in a scattering of alternative holistic health centers. The flashy Juvenex Spa in Manhattan offers its 30-minute Gyno Spa Cure for $75. A complete setup for a do-it-yourself steam — open-seated stool, boiler and herbs — can be purchased online at http://www.rakuten.com for $330.

Saturday, 25 December, 2010

Scientists offer hope to thousands of infertile couples

Scientists have discovered why some embryos fail to implant in the womb which could lead to new treatments for thousands of infertile couples. For the first time, scientists have discovered the process that allows the embryo to latch on to the womb lining and create a successful pregnancy. The team at Oxford University have filmed the event in detail in the laboratory.
Fertility experts said the reason why some perfectly healthy embryos fail to implant in the womb has remained a mystery of human reproduction and the findings are "very exciting".
Infertility treatment, despite using the best quality embryos, can only manage to get half to implant in the womb. Even in healthy couples without fertility problems, many potential pregnancies are lost because fertilised eggs do not implant properly.
One in seven couples in the UK have problems conceiving and around 32,000 undergo IVF treatment each year. Dr Gillian Lockwood, medical director of Midlands Fertility Services, said a "significant" number of the one in four patients whose infertility remains unexplained could be affected with implantation problems.
"I think this is a very exciting development. In women with viable embryos only half actually achieve implantation. But there is a lot of difference between being able to identify what is going wrong and being able to fix it."
The findings are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Professor Helen J. Mardon, of St Catherine's College, University of Oxford, and the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, said: "In many women, attachment and implantation doesn't happen and this is a major cause of infertility.
Prof Mardon, who led the study, said: "By understanding how this process works, we may be able to inform the development of drugs to help embryos implant properly." In order for the embryo to create a successful pregnancy, it must initially attach to the lining of the womb. Then cells from the embryo begin to invade the womb lining, eventually connecting with the mother's blood vessels and forming the placenta.
Professor Mardon said: "The embryo and womb lining talk to each other, molecularly speaking, which allows them to interact "When the embryo lands on the surface of the uterus wall, it triggers a cascade of signals in both the embryo and uterus. The resulting changes allow the embryo to invade the lining."
The Oxford team working with Professor Anne J. Ridley at King's College, London, have found two proteins that make cells in the womb lining move out of the way and allow the embryo cells to get in.
The research, funded by the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council, showed two proteins belonging to a family called Rho GTPases are involved.
Prof Mardon said: "We have shown that two proteins, called Rac1 and RhoA, control the invasion.
"The first stimulates cells in the womb lining to move and allow the embryo to invade and implant properly while the second inhibits this. We believe this controlled balance of the two proteins is critical for successful implantation of the embryo."
Using tissue samples taken from women with their consent and embryos donated to the Oxford Fertility Unit for research purposes, the team were able to simulate the very start of a pregnancy in the laboratory.
Prof Mardon said: "Essentially what we've done is to capture a particular stage of implantation going on in a petri dish. "The experiment mimics the stage in which an early-stage human embryo invades the lining of the womb, and allows us to dissect the molecular processes that control this critical stage of implantation."

Friday, 24 December, 2010

BPA exposure linked to reduced egg quality in women

A small-scale University of California, San Francisco-led study has identified the first evidence in humans that exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) may compromise the quality of a woman’s eggs retrieved for in vitro fertilization (IVF). As blood levels of BPA in the women studied doubled, the percentage of eggs that fertilized normally declined by 50 percent, according to the research team.

The chemical BPA, which makes plastic hard and clear, has been used in many consumer products such as reusable water bottles. It also is found in epoxy resins, which form a protective lining inside metal food and beverage cans.

“While preliminary, the data indicate the negative effect of BPA on reproductive health and the importance of allocating more funding to further investigate why such environmental contaminants might be disrupting fertility potential,” said Dr. Victor Y. Fujimoto, lead study author and professor in the UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, who also is on the faculty of the UCSF Center for Reproductive Health.

In the study, BPA levels and fertilization rates were analyzed for 26 women undergoing IVF during 2007 and 2008 at the UCSF Center for Reproductive Health. The women were a subgroup of a larger study evaluating the effect on reproductive health of trace exposures to toxic metals — mercury, cadmium and lead.

“Given the widespread nature of BPA exposure in the U.S., even a modest effect on reproduction is of substantial concern,” said Michael S. Bloom, senior author and an assistant professor in the departments of Environmental Health Sciences, and Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the School of Public Health of the University at Albany, State University of New York. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found BPA in the urine of nearly everyone tested in a 2004 analysis of the U.S. population.

BPA is gaining global attention as an environmental contaminant that impacts health owing to its widespread exposure and endocrine-disrupting properties, according to the researchers. An endocrine disruptor is a synthetic chemical that when absorbed into the body either mimics or blocks hormones and interferes with the body’s normal functions.

Previous studies in mouse models have indicated that BPA levels alter the DNA of eggs, and a 2010 study in humans demonstrated BPA urinary concentrations to be inversely associated with the number of eggs retrieved during an IVF cycle.

“Unfortunately, at this time there is no clinically-available test to determine BPA levels in women,” Fujimoto said. “Despite the limited evidence, a cautious approach for women who are considering IVF treatment would be to reduce their exposure to BPA through modifications in lifestyle and diet.”

Earlier this year, an alliance of partners led by the UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment launched an online resource called Toxic Matters to help consumers make smarter decisions about substances that can harm general and reproductive health.

Thursday, 23 December, 2010

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation in infertility?

In 2005, the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR) first introduced dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation to the infertility field and reported that DHEA had increased egg numbers in women with “older” ovaries going through IVF treatment (Fertility and Sterility). CHR researchers have since reported that DHEA treatment has much broader benefits in the treatment of female infertility - a finding recently confirmed by a study from Israel.

A recent worldwide survey of in vitro fertilization (IVF) centers concluded that approximately one-third have introduced DHEA supplementation into their treatment regimens for women with so-called diminished ovarian reserve.

Investigators at CHR now report to have elucidated at least one of the mechanisms by which DHEA exerts beneficial effects on egg and embryo quality, thereby improving pregnancy chances and reducing miscarriages after IVF. The mechanism involves improvement of chromosomal integrity of embryos.

It is well known that as women age, the risk of chromosomal abnormalities in pregnancies and offspring increases. Most chromosomal abnormalities in embryos result in miscarriages. Collaborating in 2009 with colleagues from Toronto, Canada, investigators from CHR reported unexpectedly low spontaneous miscarriage rates in pregnancies conceived on DHEA supplementation. They suspected that such low miscarriage rates had to be the consequence of lower aneuploidy (chromosomal abnormalities), but proof was lacking.

In a recently published study, investigators from CHR now, for the first time, confirmed that DHEA reduces chromosomal abnormalities (aneuploidy) in embryos through preimplantation genetic screening (PGS). The greatest reduction in aneuploidy (22%) was observed with 4-12 weeks of DHEA supplementation prior to IVF.

Norbert Gleicher, CHR’s Medical Director, comments: “This is the first direct evidence that DHEA beneficially affects egg and embryo quality by reducing chromosomal abnormalities.” He continues: ”It appears likely, however, that this is not the only way by which DHEA exerts its positive effects on older ovaries. Indeed, DHEA may only be a forerunner for a whole new family of infertility drugs, which, ultimately, still may allow older women to conceive through well-designed infertility treatments.”

David H. Barad, Clinical Director of CHR’s IVF Program, adds: “Our finding may have implications far beyond infertility because it suggests that beneficial effects of DHEA supplementation on embryos' chromosomal health could also be extended to normally fertile older women.” DHEA supplementation, like taking folic acid to prevent neural tube defects, could become routine in prenatal care.

Sunday, 19 December, 2010

Triplets land their dad behind bars!

Hong Kong police were on Thursday investigating a surrogacy case believed to involve the son of a land tycoon who recently announced the birth of triplet sons by a California-based woman.
47 year old Henderson Land Company's Executive Director Peter Lee Ka Kit gets double happiness within a month. First it was rumored that he has intentions on acquiring TVB, the news wasn't even been confirmed yet and he's already been promoted to a father of boy triplets, fulfilling his father's 4th Uncle Lee Shau Kee's dream. 4th Uncle even took out HK$1 million to give out to his employees. Also, 4th Uncle's three grandsons are named Lee Chi Sun, Lee Chi Yan and Lee Chi Yung are all very lucky, matching well with their grandfather and father.
Have always kept a low-profile, recently Peter suddenly comes into the spotlight, stealing his sister-in-law and also actress Cathy Tsui's limelight. In 2006, when 4th Uncle's second son Lee Ka Shing married Cathy, he opened his golden mouth and said he wanted a grandson, unfortunately Cathy only gave him two grand daughters.
Peter's 3 sons are born Year of the Tiger, and Peter is a rabbit, born in 1963. According to fortune teller master Mak Ling Ling, rabbit matches tiger very well, the father-son relationship will be really good. The babies were born in July, which makes them the summer tigers, very good fortune. As tigers are loners, but they are triplets and will be very independent. When the triplets get older, they can develop very well on their own. Mak Ling Ling saw the pictures of the triplets, they all have long ears attached to cheeks and wide foreheads, is a face of good blessings.
The 47-year-old millionaire bachelor said the babies had been born in the United States to a surrogate mother but kept the birth mother's identity secret. News reports claimed the surrogacy had been arranged by a Californian surrogacy agent, prompting public discussion and some criticism. Commercial surrogacy, in which a woman is paid to carry and give birth to a baby, is outlawed in Hong Kong.Police have also confirmed an investigation is under way but declined to give further details.
The investigation came to light after lawmaker Cyd Ho raised the issue at a meeting of the Legislative Council Wednesday.
Ho asked Chow if it was illegal for a Hong Kong resident to hire a surrogate mother overseas, referring specifically to a Hong Kong man who had issued a press release announcing the birth of three sons by a surrogate mother in the United States.
In response, Chow pointed out the law prohibited the making and receiving of any payment relating to a surrogacy arrangement regardless of whether it was made or received in Hong Kong or elsewhere.
"While we will not comment on individual cases reported in the media, we can confirm that referral concerning suspected surrogacy arrangements has been made to the police for consideration as to whether investigation and law enforcement action are required," Chow said.

Saturday, 18 December, 2010

From The London Times: A Well-Planned Retirement

Outside England 's Bristol Zoo there is a parking lot for 150 cars and 8 buses. For 25 years, it’s parking fees were managed by a very pleasant attendant.

The fees were for cars (£1.40),for buses (about £7).

Then, one day, after 25 solid years of never missing a day of work, he just didn't show up; so the Zoo Management called the City Council and asked it to send them another parking agent.

The Council did some research and replied that the parking lot was the Zoo's own responsibility.

The Zoo advised the Council that the attendant was a City employee.

The City Council responded that the lot attendant had never been on the City payroll!

Meanwhile, sitting in his villa somewhere on the coast of Spain or France or Italy ... is a man who'd apparently had a ticket machine installed completely on his own and then had simply begun to show up every day, commencing to collect and keep the parking fees, estimated at about £560 per day -- for 25 years.

Assuming 7 days a week, this amounts to just over 7 million pounds ... and no one even knows his name!

A perfect example of government mismanagement.

Friday, 17 December, 2010

Couple have baby boy after being first to conceive using 'fertility sat nav'

A delighted couple revealed last week they were the first to conceive with an IVF alternative dubbed the 'fertility sat nav'.
Marie and Mirco Martinelli believed they would never be able to have children after suffering three miscarriages in just two years.
They signed up for IVF but were told there was a two-year waiting list for treatment.
So they took part in a trial for DuoFertility, a ground-breaking temperature measuring device that promised pregnancy within 12 months.
They began using the £495 device in January 2009 and were delighted when Marie became pregnant after just seven months.
Baby Alec was born on March 20 this year and is the first baby to be born through the device - which claims to be statistically as good as IVF.
Secretary Marie, 29, who lives in Italy with Mirco, 37, and little Alec, now seven months, said she was "so happy" they had used the device.
She said: 'I was very worried and sad when I kept having miscarriages. The whole world was pregnant and had babies and I struggled to get pregnant and couldn't stay pregnant.
'DuoFertility stopped me thinking of myself as having a problem, and suddenly I was able to sleep more normally and feel a great deal calmer.
'Where the product calculates your fertile days after a few months, it was impossible for me to have been able to do that properly without proper scientific approaches, because my cycle was different all the time.
'In the past I had tried ovulation tests, but if you have to use them for a long time it becomes very expensive.'
Dutch Marie - who met Italian Mirco in Italy in Summer 2002 - suffered her first miscarriage after six weeks of pregnancy in March 2005.
n May 2005, the couple visited a fertility clinic, which broke the news that Marie had abnormal hormone levels.
They lost another baby at 13 weeks in February 2006 and another at 11 weeks in September the same year, before deciding to take a break from trying.
In May 2008 Marie and Mirco married in Italy and decided their only option was to use fertility treatment - but lost hope when they were told of the lengthy waiting list for IVF.
Shortly after, Marie noticed an advert for DuoFertility - a small patch the size of a coin which takes 20,000 temperature readings every night to pinpoint the exact moment of ovulation.
She began using the product in January 2009 and was delighted when she fell pregnant just months later.
Alec was born in Italy at 1.54am on March 20 after a gruelling 19 hour labour.
Marie added: 'When they showed me Alec I couldn't believe he was my son. I remember he was so warm and soft.
'Micro was full of joy and happiness and also could not believe that this was his son. Still now we can't believe that this little person is our baby.
'When they brought me back to my room and laid Alec at my breast I was so proud. Finally, my little boy.'
DuoFerility was developed by scientists and fertility experts at Cambridge Temperature Concepts in 2008.
The non-invasive device comprises of a tiny patch thermometer - the size of a £1 coin - that is worn under the arm.
It promises to alert a woman to the moment her temperature rises half a degree as a result of ovulation.
A small wireless hand-held reader processes data from the patch to tell the wearer whether she has ovulated in the last two days and whether she is likely to in the next six.
Women are most fertile on the day of the temperature spike and on the few days before - meaning chances of conception are massively increased by trying on those days.
Information from the reader can be loaded onto a computer, which allows couples - and experts in Cambridge - to analyse the monthly fertility cycle.
Dr Shamus Husheer, who invented the device said the company was "delighted" with their success and the birth of baby Alec.
He said: 'What we now know as a result of our work, is that for certain causes of infertility, DuoFertility is as effective as IVF.
'Clearly there are some infertility issues where the use of the device is unable to aid pregnancy such as a complete lack of sperm, however for a range of common causes such as moderate male factors, cycle irregularity, secondary or unexplained infertility, our monitoring device is achieving great results.'

Thursday, 16 December, 2010

Increased IVF Success Rates Result when Ideal Follicular Fluid Temperature is Maintained

Clinical research by Chicago-area infertility specialist Richard Sherbahn, MD, reveals increased embryo quality and higher live birth rates with in vitro fertilization when the follicular fluid is in an ideal temperature range.
Maintaining the temperature of follicular fluid in an ideal range during the in vitro fertilization (IVF) egg retrieval procedure can improve IVF live birth success rates, according to a clinical study conducted by the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago (AFCC).
“During IVF, we retrieve eggs from a woman’s ovaries,” explains Dr. Sherbahn, a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist. “The eggs are retrieved from ovarian follicles and we obtain the eggs and follicular fluid in which they develop.
“When the eggs are removed from the ovary, the fluid and the eggs experience a temperature change because the woman’s body temperature is warmer than the room temperature,” he says, “We found that if this temperature change is excessive, IVF live birth rates are significantly decreased.
“In our study, we performed 1,659 egg retrieval procedures in women under age 43,” Dr. Sherbahn explains. “The extracted fluid and eggs went into our laboratory and we checked the fluid temperature. Our objective was to see if the follicular fluid temperature made a difference in an embryo’s ability to develop into a good-quality blastocyst—and its effect on the IVF live birth success rate.”
A blastocyst is an embryo that has developed for five to six days after fertilization and has developed two distinct cell types and a central cavity filled with fluid. In vitro fertilization done with transfer of blastocyst-stage embryos has been shown to have a higher rate of success than transferring earlier-stage embryos.
“Our research found that maintaining follicular fluid temperatures in a narrow range resulted in improved outcomes: higher rates of blastocyst development, higher rates of embryo implantation in the uterus and more live births,” Dr. Sherbahn reports.
The cases were divided into three groups for analysis: the ideal-temperature group had a live birth rate of 52.8% per egg retrieval. The low-temperature group and high-temperature group had live birth rates of 44.1%, and 37.7% respectively.
“Our research indicates that the more the ideal temperature is maintained, the better the resulting embryo quality and the higher the live birth success rates,” Dr. Sherbahn concludes.
“We use heated blocks for the test tubes containing the fluid and the eggs rather than letting them sit in an open environment with no temperature control,” he explains. “We constantly monitor the blocks and the fluids to maintain the ideal temperature for the eggs.
“The standard temperature for culturing human embryos is 37.0 degrees Centigrade (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit)—but carefully controlled studies have not been published to prove this truly is the ideal temperature. Likewise, there has not been anything published clarifying the ideal temperature for eggs during the egg retrieval. Our study is a start; further research is needed in this area,” explains Dr. Sherbahn.