In 2022 a couple in Portland welcomed twins into the world. Whilst the chance of giving birth to twins is much smaller than a single child, what makes these twins even more extraordinary is that these children were born from embryos that had been frozen 30 years previously.
The babies were reported to be normal in every aspect, despite already being over 30 years old when they were born, after being perfectly preserved in liquid nitrogen at negative 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
The embryos were frozen in 1992 with the intention of being used for IVF (In-vitro fertilization) for a different couple. However, in 2007 that couple donated the embryos to the National Embryo Donation Center.
A viable embryo frozen in time which could then go one to become a child 30 years later, is a modern miracle, it’s not the first time embryos have successfully been transplanted in the future. Prior to 2022, the longest embryo to child gap had been 28 years. It just goes to show that the freezing process results in a stasis of the biological process which might theoretically mean that time doesn’t matter – could an embryo from 1992 be used successfully in 2092 to produce a child from the past?
Could this also help with the prospect of being cryogenically frozen to be reanimated at some time in the future?
The prospect of helping many childless couples in the future seems a lot brighter and promising, especially as mankind’s survival is becoming more and more precarious. Not only from climate change and global wars, but on the basic level of human reproduction.
Earlier in 2022 a team of scientists looked at over 250 studies from around the world to get a general idea of the global sperm count over the last 50 years. Incredibly, from 1973 to 2018 sperm count dropped by 1.2 percent per year until 2000, but then began dropping at a faster rate of 2.6 percent per year.
“We have a serious problem on our hands that, if not mitigated, could threaten mankind’s survival,” explained Professor Hagai Levine. “We urgently call for global action to promoted healthier environments for all species and reduce exposures and behaviors that threaten our reproductive health.”
With this alarming global decreases in sperm count, the use of frozen embryo’s in the future could be mankind’s best hope for survival.