- In a breakthrough in fertilization research, scientists identify the surface proteins that enable a sperm cell and egg cell to fuse together to form an embryo.
- Juno is the name given to the egg's protein and Izumo the sperm's.
- Researchers are now screening infertile women to determine if the absence of Juno is the problem. Twenty percent of infertility cases are of unknown origin.
- If the absence of Juno is, indeed, the cause of infertility then a simple diagnostic test can be developed to identify affected women.
- A woman's Juno status will also guide fertility treatment by allowing in vitro fertilization specialists to proceed directly to intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
- Researches identified Izumo in 2005 but couldn't identify Juno until recently.
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