Playing techno beats to test tube babies could make them bigger

Expect to see a bunch of scientists clutching test tubes at a rave near you

Roisin O'Connor
Monday 16 January 2017 14:43 GMT
A baby listens to music through headphones
A baby listens to music through headphones (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Scientists have found that a pulsing techno beat could be the missing ingredient that helps test tube babies grow.

An experiment at the Altra-vita IVF clinic in Moscow showed that playing 24-hour techno to eggs in test tubes not only helped them to become more fertilised, but also increased the number of viable embryos by around a fifth, The Times reports.

According to findings presented at Fertility 2017, a conference held in Edinburgh, the 'techno eggs' were slightly more likely to grow into embryos and a lot more likely to develop at the point where they could be implanted in the womb.

Techno music also appeared to have a stronger effect than previous results from tests with classical, metal and pop music. Researchers played dance tracks such as Armin van Buuren's "A State of Trance" because of the consistency of its pulse.

Embryos have shown response to different tunes in the past. A group of Spanish scientists in 2013 found that playing artists including Madonna, Bach, Metallica and Mozart appeared to give some test tube babies a growth spurt.

Dr Dagan Wells, associate professor of obstetric and gynaecology at the University of Oxford, said that IVF doctors could learn from rave culture, and suggested that eggs and embryos cultured in dishes miss out on the 'swirling' movements in the womb after natural conception.

"It is possible that vibrations could simulate some of these effects by agitating the medium," he said, "helping to mix the fluid in which the embryo is immersed, diluting potentially harmful chemicals excreted by the embryo and increasing exposure to important nutrients."

Keep an eye out for a bunch of scientists shaking test tubes at your next rave.

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