Like me, my eggs flew in economy class, writes Anna Louie Sussman. My dog Stewie and I were in seat 8D, while 12 of my cryopreserved eggs, four straws of three eggs each, had a window seat farther back. They were nestled in a cryogenic storage bottle packed in a metal case next to Paolo, the courier who oversaw their passage from a fertility clinic in Bologna, Italy, to the clinic in Madrid, Spain, where I would undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF). in a few weeks.
Shipping gametes and embryos around the world is a growing part of a thriving global fertility industry. As people have children later in life, the need for fertility treatments increases every year. The ability to move eggs, sperm and embryos across borders allows tens of thousands of patients to access this medical care if it is not available in their home countries due to legal restrictions or prohibitive prices.
In my case, I had frozen eggs in Bologna in 2016 and again in Madrid two years later, as it would have taken me several more years to save for a cycle in New York.
After paying storage fees for six and four years, respectively, at age 40 I was ready to try to conceive. Transporting the Bolognese batch served to literally put all my eggs in one basket. Read the full story.
- How Silicon Valley came up with a plan to turn blood into human eggs. A well-connected startup company is trying to rewrite the rules of reproduction. Read the full story.
- Transmen’s eggs are lab-matured — and could help them have children. Thanks to a new technique, eggs can be grown from the ovaries of transgender men, even after years of testosterone therapy. Read the full story.
- Within the race to create human sex cells in the lab. Scientists will soon be able to make eggs and sperm from skin and blood cells. What will that mean? Read the full story.
Roblox’s avatars are getting more expressive
The news: Roblox users will soon be able to give their avatar facial expressions that mimic those of the player, the platform announced last week at the annual Roblox Developer Conference. The update would mean users could smile, wink or pinch their foreheads, and their avatar would mimic them in real time. Eyes could scan, heads could quiver and eyebrows and ears could wiggle with the same result.
Why it matters: The online game platform allows visitors to play or create games, and attracts 52.2 million users daily. The rich, diverse virtual worlds created on the site are considered a precursor to what we might see and experience in the metaverse, with opportunities for connecting with other people and personalized avatars that players can use in different games.
What’s next: Soon, Roblox says, users will be able to talk directly to other avatars, just like they do in other multiplayer video games. In short, the changes can mix our human experience in the real world with that of the metaverse and make avatars more like ourselves – for better or for worse. Read the full story.