The «omics» in assisted reproduction

During the last years, molecular techniques that offer additional information for the viability and developmental potential of embryos have shown a great advancement in the assisted reproduction field. These techniques, due to their name, have been included in the omics group.

They are about the study of the entire profile of the embryo activity in various levels of expression (DNA, RNA, proteins or metabolites). Thus, the study of the entire genome is called genomics, the study of RNA transcription is called transcriptomics, the study protein translation is called proteomics and the study of the metabolism is called metabolomics.

These techniques, which are either invasive (genomics, transcriptomics) or non-invasive (proteomics, metabolomics) form the spearhead of research and some of them are already applied in the embryology laboratory. These techniques are expected to play a pivotal role in objectively determining the developmental potential of each embryo so as to select one healthy embryo for transfer and increase pregnancy rates.