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In 2020, the IVF industry was shut down for more than half of the year. Pixabay

The acceptance of IVF has increased among those who want to get pregnant because of increased and easier availability of information, improved awareness, and easier access due to the establishment of more IVF centers. Experts believe that the IVF industry could soon start to come out of Covid-19 related disruptions.

In 2020, the IVF industry was shut down for more than half of the year. Even after that, the industry is yet to resume to its full capacity — most of the IVF clinics are operating at a maximum of 70 percent of their capability. Given that we now have a better idea of the virus and that a vaccine is a matter of time, I am hopeful that we are likely to cope with the Covid-related disruptions better in 2021, said Dr. Gauri Agarwal, IVF and Infertility Specialist, Founder – SOI and Genestrings Diagnostic Center.

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“This, in turn, will boost the confidence of people to come forward and seek treatment. Hence, IVF clinics can expect to go back to their pre-Covid activity level. The next important development will be an increase in egg freezing, especially in urban areas. However, the most important factor driving all of these will be awareness about infertility without any bias and an open environment to discuss and support the couple. Fertility services as a part of reproductive medical tourism are likely to suffer as travel permissions may remain restricted to serious and urgent cases.

“The IVF industry is driven by technology and therefore there is an intrinsic relation between the two. What encourages us the most is that now the government has realized the importance of cutting-edge technology in ensuring the desired pregnancy outcome and has included the provision of preimplantation genetic screening in the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Regulation Bill 2020.

IVF clinics can expect to go back to their pre-Covid19 activity level. Pixabay

Technologies like PGS and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) are the cornerstones of healthy babies as they reduce the chances of any genetic disease for any reason to near-zero. It gives healthy life to the baby and the freedom to mothers to conceive as and when they wish. Practitioners must aim to assimilate underused or unused technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning into the fertility services they offer for better outcomes and a gradual reduction of cost as well,” the specialist said.

“IVF cycles will soon pick up. Technology is developing in this area with a view to minimizing patient contact. Portable ultrasounds have been developed which patients are given temporarily. She is trained to do a transvaginal ultrasound herself and the picture transmitted to the IVF unit via mobile,” said Dr. Renu Misra, Head of Department at Miracles Fertility and IVF, Gurugram.

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According to Dr. Manish Banker, Medical Director, Nova IVF Fertility, there is a gradual rise in the number of women delaying pregnancy for career or personal reasons leading to increasing use of freezing eggs or embryos in single and married women respectively.

“The global digital evolution in the pandemic has also impacted the IVF industry. The experts are increasingly using Artificial Intelligence to understand which procedure and protocol are best suited for a couple. Another emerging trend which we are witnessing is educated and working couples not wanting twins and hence a rising trend of electively transferring only a single embryo.” (IANS)



Hackers have stolen crypto tokens worth $120 million from Blockchain-based decentralised finance (DeFi) platform BadgerDAO.

Hackers have stolen crypto tokens worth $120 million from Blockchain-based decentralised finance (DeFi) platform BadgerDAO. Several crypto wallets were drained before the platform could stop the cyber attack. In a tweet, Badger said it has received reports of unauthorised withdrawals of user funds. "As Badger engineers investigate this, all smart contracts have been paused to prevent further withdrawals. Our investigation is ongoing and we will release further information as soon as possible," the company said late on Thursday.

According to the blockchain security and data analytics Peckshield, the various tokens stolen in the attack are worth about $120 million, reports The Verge. According to reports, someone inserted a malicious script in the user interface (UI) of their website. Badger has retained data forensics experts Chainalysis to explore the full scale of the incident and authorities in both the US and Canada have been informed. "Badger is cooperating fully with external investigations as well as proceeding with its own," it said. DeFi is a collective term for financial products and services that are open, decentralised and accessible to anyone. DeFi products open up financial services to anyone with an internet connection and they are largely owned and maintained by their users. While the attack didn't reveal specific flaws within Blockchain tech itself, it managed to exploit the older "web 2.0" technology that most users need to use to perform transactions, according to reports. (IANS/ MBI)

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Kishan said that the organisers have been asked to strictly follow all Covid-19 protocols.

A total of 120 top Bollywood and other celebrities are expected to attend the wedding of film stars Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal which is scheduled on December 9 in Rajasthan, said Rajendra Kishan, the District Collector (DC) of Sawai Madhopur district of the state on Friday. The District Collector told mediapersons: "These 120 guests shall follow all COVID-19 protocols and fully vaccinated guests will get entry in the much-hyped celebrity wedding."

Kishan said that the organisers have been asked to strictly follow all Covid-19 protocols. Also, those who are not vaccinated, will not be allowed without the negative RT-PCR test report, he added. "We have been informed by organisers that a total of 120 guests are invited to the wedding and the events will take place between December 7 to December 10," he added.

Earlier at 10.30 a.m., Kishan called a meeting which was attended by administrative, police and forest department officials, hotel and event managers to ensure adequate arrangements for crowd control, smooth regulation of traffic, and law and order situation amid the VIP movement. The wedding venue Fort Barwara, that has been converted into a heritage hotel, is situated in the panchayat samiti Chauth Ka Barwara. The venue is around 22 km away from Sawai Madhopur and is around 174 km from Jaipur. Sawai Madhopur district is famous for the Ranthambore National Tiger Reserve and as per reports, the guests are likely to be taken for a tiger safari. (IANS/ MBI)

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The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) is continuously monitoring the situation in four cities - Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Pune.

The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), which confirmed the first two cases of the Omicron variant in Bengaluru on Thursday, is continuously monitoring the situation in four cities - Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Pune. The NCBS is a part of a consortium of national laboratories performing genomic surveillance across four city clusters. The consortium was established four months ago with support from The Rockefeller Foundation's Pandemic Prevention Institute, and is led by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad.

Dr Rakesh Mishra at the CCMB said on Friday that the consortium is continuously monitoring the situation in all the four cities and has upscaled its efforts to sequence as many samples as possible Apart from the CCMB and the NCBS, the consortium includes CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology - IGIB in New Delhi and the Pune Knowledge Cluster, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, and CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory in Pune.

covid virus The first case of the Omicron variant was detected in South Africa and reported to the World Health Organization on November 24. | Unsplash

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