A new fertility treatment aims to help women who cannot get pregnant because their eggs aren’t as “fresh” as they once were. The theory behind this treatment is that this type of infertility is caused by low levels of mitochondria in eggs–mitochondria are the proverbial “batteries” of the cell. These less-fresh cells’ batteries have simply worn down.
To recharge, mitochondria are extracted from surgically obtained immature eggs. Then, in a procedure very similar to IVF, the mitochondria are injected into the woman’s previously harvested mature eggs–along with sperm. The resulting embryos are transferred into the patient’s womb, with recharged batteries.
To read more, please check out the NPR story–VERY interesting stuff…though the treatment is not available in the US as of yet.