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Viability of a fertilized egg can be predicted by its 'squishiness'


A new study suggests that the viability or squishiness of a fertilized egg is an indicator of whether the IVF will be successful or not, Fox News reports.

Stanford University researchers, who conducted the test, tested the rigidity of hour-old fertilized egg as a reliable way for physicians to choose the best embryos during in vitro fertilization.

The researchers concluded that the success of IVF lies in how viable the fertilized egg is.

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.

For the study, the researchers applied a small amount of pressure to mice eggs with a small pipette about an hour after fertilization. The researchers then recorded how much each egg deformed.

The embryos were placed in a standard nurturing liquid and reexamined at the blastocyst stage.

According to researchers, the eggs that had provided a certain range of squishiness were more likely to produce healthy, symmetrical embryos.

The embryos were transferred to female mice. The study showed that the embryos that had shown squishiness were 50 percent more likely to result in a live birth than embryos classified as viable using conventional techniques.

"Although cancer and other diseases involved stiff tumors or tissues, our colleagues have been surprised that we can gain so much information from this simple little mechanical test," Dr. Barry Behr, director of Stanford's IVF laboratory, said in the news release. 

"It is still surprising to think that simple squeezing an embryo the day it was fertilized can tell you if it will survive and ultimately become a baby." 

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