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Is IVF Better Than Sex?

Ironically, this image comes from a failed IVF procedure.

File this under: you can find a research scientist to say almost anything. London’s Daily Mail (a newspaper that will quote almost anything) yesterday got its hands on a study from a vet in Perth, Australia who writes that human reproduction is a “fairly inefficient” process, and that improvements in IVF (found to work far better than the natural method in cattle) will mean that future parents will skip all those months of coital drudgery in favor of a trip to the specialist.

Judging from readers’ responses, most London women are convinced that they are not cows.

Darwin would be turning in his grave, writes one. Another, with the glorious lack of political sensitivity that so often marks the Daily Mail commenter, points to the higher birth rates among poorer segments of society than amongst the better off, who would be more likely to take advantage of this opportunity to more precisely control their reproductive functions.
Most commenters ignored the blatant invitations to inflamed screaming offered in the article: the proposal that more IVF could lead to eugenics, the suggestion that Christians would be proven wrong in their conviction that sex was intended purely for reproductive purposes. Instead, this news (which could also be described as wild, if entertaining, scientific speculation) met with a resounding, well deserved snort in the general direction of the journal of Reproductive BioMedicine, which might want to hold off on promoting the Brave New World of human egg hatchery just yet.

Image courtesy wellcome via Flickr and Creative Commons

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