I’ve been at Fertile Action for a little over two months now, and every time someone asks me about my new job I get super excited. I mean, I don’t want to come off egotistical or like, brag or whatever, but I feel honored to be a part of such an important organization.
I earned my Masters in Women and Gender Studies (from DePaul/Chicago) and it was my goal upon graduating to find a non-profit to work for.
To be honest, I really never imagined myself being surrounded by so much fertility preservation information.
So much baby-talk.
But, my new knowledge on sperm, IVF, science discoveries etc. has really come in handy at cocktail parties (or, to be honest, PBR parties—my group of friends aren’t quite that sophisticated yet).
I don’t know why but for some reason I think this is one of the coolest (and also craziest) scientific advancements. Doctors remove part or all of an ovary. The tissue that is removed is divided into thin strips, each of which contains hormone-producing cells and immature eggs. The tissue is then frozen and stored for future use. When the tissue is re-implanted into the body, hormone function can be temporarily restored. I am just amazed that someone would have thought to do this! Find out more about ovarian tissue freezing here.
They can now make sperm out of stem cells. (This one always gets a bug-eyed reaction.) They can do it in mice, so it will only take a bit more time to start doing it in humans. Check out the details on sperm stem cell creation here or find more out about sperm donation here.
Since we’re on the topic of stem cells. Tissue engineers have created a way to use stem cells—specifically stem-cell-enriched adipose (fat) tissue—to enhance, heal, and rebuild injured or damaged organs. Of course, they originally discovered this by trying to come up with better breast implant procedures but it could be the beginning of some amazing healing processes for cancer patients.
Both Ecstasy and Caffeine show signs for treating cancer.
It’s possible that the designer drug, ecstasy, also called MDMA, also called X, could be used to treat leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. First though, they have to make it safe, as of right now the amount needed to treat a tumor would kill a patient.
There’s a current theory out there that caffeine can help protect against certain types of skin cancer on a molecular level. According to a recent Rutgers University study it does this by suppressing a protein enzyme in the skin known as ATR.
“Lab trials conducted on mice seem to indicate that caffeine rubbed directly on the skin might be able to prevent harmful UV light from causing skin cancer.”
There is now this mega-craze people are following in an attempt to choose the sex of their baby. It’s funny, cause the article says “gender” but I don’t think they’ve read enough feminist theory to understand gender is constructed, sex is biological. If they want the baby to be a certain gender they’d have to work on the baby’s social upbringing not what sex organs it had. Just sayin. (Also should we really care? It’s a good cocktail/PBR debate anyway.)