Muslims embrace brave new world of IVF

IVF procedures are spreading rapidly in the Muslim world, as both Sunnis and Shi’ites embrace assisted reproductive technology as a means of overcoming the suffering caused by fertility, an international conference of fertility experts heard today. Medical anthropologist, Dr Marcia Inhorn, told the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology that legal adoption was not allowed in Middle Eastern Muslim countries, although children were loved and valued. As a result, IVF remained many couples’ last hope of having children, and IVF centres have opened in nearly 20 nations in the Muslim Middle East, ranging from small, oil-rich Bahrain and Qatar to larger but less prosperous Morocco and Egypt.

Pretreatment increases liver transplant survival

Pretreating transplanted livers with the immune molecule interleukin-6 (IL-6) dramatically increased survival of rats receiving organs with fatty degeneration–a common condition in humans that typically reduces transplant viability. The results suggest a means of making it possible to use a higher percentage of available donor livers for transplantation in humans. With over three times as many Americans needing transplants as there are available donor livers, an effective approach to increasing the number of viable donor organs would help narrow the gap between demand and supply.