Two healthy babies were born after a robot fertilized an egg - ForumDaily
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Two healthy babies born after robot fertilizes egg

Two healthy babies were born in Spain from human eggs that were fertilized by a sperm injection robot. It is controlled by the Playstation 5 controller, reports Indy100.

Photo: IStock

This all sounds like the premise of a sci-fi movie. Barcelona-based startup Overture Life has created a slightly more futuristic version of the mechanism behind in vitro fertilization, or IVF.

The usual treatment is for specialists to combine the woman's egg and the man's sperm in a cup using a microscope and a special needle, sometimes leading to successful fertilization. However, current IVF methods are expensive, delicate, and very time consuming. It reportedly costs about $20 to try to get pregnant.

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This is where companies like Overture come in, who aim to make the IVF procedure more accessible and cheaper for everyone, using more automation in the process to ultimately achieve the goal.

This is where things like the Playstation controller come into play. Engineering student Edouard Alba maneuvered a tiny IVF needle carrying single sperm cells and placed them in eggs at least a dozen times.

Speaking to the MIT Technology Review, Alba said: “I was calm. At that very moment, I thought, "This is just another experiment." Thanks to this procedure, it can now be argued that the woman gave birth to two healthy girls who were first conceived with the help of a robot.

However, experts believe that before this practice becomes generally accepted, there is still a long way to go.

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Zev Williams, director of the Columbia University Fertility Clinic, said: “You take the sperm, put it in the egg with as little trauma as possible and as delicately as possible. At the moment, people are much better than machines.”

Reproductive physician Gianpiero Palermo, who is credited with inventing the world's first intracytoplasmic sperm injection, in the 1990s, called the concept "extraordinary" but warned that it was just a "small step." He added: “In my opinion, this is not yet a robotic procedure,” he says.

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However, this could be an exciting step in human evolution, and Overture has already raised $37 million for further research, much of it from big donors like former YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.

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