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HealthWatch: Stanford Researchers Unlocking Secrets Of Successful IVF

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Embryologist Ric Ross holds a dish with human embryos at the La Jolla IVF Clinic February 28, 2007 in La Jolla, California. The clinic accepts donated embryos from around the country through The Stem Cell resource which are then given to stem cell research labs for research. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

Embryologist Ric Ross holds a dish with human embryos at the La Jolla IVF Clinic February 28, 2007 in La Jolla, California. The clinic accepts donated embryos from around the country through The Stem Cell resource which are then given to stem cell research labs for research. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

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STANFORD (CBS 5) – More than 60,000 babies are born each year due to in vitro fertilization, but those numbers may go up thanks to some revealing research out of Stanford University.

Scientists have developed new methods of identifying the embryos most likely to be fertilized.

Researchers thawed 75 donated single-cell embryos and used time lapse photography to track their timing and development for 48-hours. Only 53 of the embryos had normal timing in development and had progressed to the four cell stage.

An even bigger surprise was that, among those 53, half had the wrong number of chromosomes.

Dr. Barry Behr, Co-Director of Stanford’s IVF program, having too many or too few chromosomes spells trouble.

“While they look normal they, do not lead to a healthy pregnancy,” said Dr. Behr. “So even though they would likely go on to become blastocysts, they were unlikely to result in healthy pregnancies.”

So, using timing and fragmentation of chromosomes, the team was much more able to predict a successful pregnancy.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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