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Popular Science outlines need for long-term studies and more regulation in A.R.T.

America Online to Carry Article Exclusively and Will Host Online Chat on Tuesday, February 11 at 8pm EST

New York, NY, February 6, 2003 -- In an article in its March issue (on newsstands February 11), Popular Science magazine describes the need for long-term studies and more regulation in assisted reproductive technology (ART). The article "Sallie has 2 Mommies & 1 Daddy," explores the science behind the risks of ART and the problems with the U.S. regulatory system that have allowed untested technologies to be used on patients for decades without oversight.

One in 11 couples in the United States is infertile. Desperation to have a child is widespread. Each year, thousands of these couples expose themselves and their future children to dangerous fertility treatments that were rushed from petri dishes to patients without regulation or human trials. About a million children have been born using assisted reproductive technology-otherwise known as ART-which has become so advanced, couples using it are statistically more likely to conceive a child than those relying on the old-fashioned natural approach.

The recent claim that a fringe group had cloned a human caused yet another wave of protests from scientists and politicians over reproductive cloning. It'll cause birth defects, they said, it'll create children with unimaginable problems. But with the spotlight on cloning, Americans missed one important point: For decades, fertility clinics have been doing precisely what scares experts about cloning. By using unregulated technologies on patients, they're creating children through experimental procedures with well-documented and potentially widespread risks. PopSci magazine's article examines and discusses the need for regulation and increased research into fertility methods.

The complete story can be found exclusively on AOL in the Health Channel (Keyword: Health Poll) beginning on February 6. Beginning on Monday, Feb
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Contact: Sara Delekta
sara.delekta@time4.com
917-868-4502
Popular Science
6-Feb-2003


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