December 12, 2016
(MIT Technology Review) – Natasha’s obstetrician next offered an unusual option: the couple could try a new method meant to improve the odds of IVF, offered by a Boston-area company called OvaScience. The approach, called Augment (for Autologous Germline Mitochondrial Energy Transfer), is so far available only in Canada and Japan (OvaScience hasn’t yet sought approval from U.S. regulators). It required the doctor to gather cells from one of Natasha’s ovaries and harvest their mitochondria—the tiny power plants that fuel our cells. These extracted mitochondria would then be injected into one of her eggs along with her husband’s sperm, and the embryo would be transferred to her uterus during a standard IVF procedure.