Assisted Reproductive Technology Proposal
The group assignment provides you with the opportunity to collaborate with
others to explore a defined area of Human Reproductive Biology at an in-depth level. The
assignment is for your own enjoyment and will provide a valuable resource for you and
your fellow students (who will see a presentation of your topic). Through the assignment
you will develop your literature search skills, the ability to select and critically examine
information and to present it logically in written, graphical and electronic forms. You will
demonstrate your ability to work as part of a team and to show leadership where
The best judge of the value of your assignment is yourself and your group; if you could
enjoy reading it in two years’ time and derive some useful information from it, and a better
understanding of some area of Human Reproductive Biology, then it is a good assignment.
The Challenge: Develop a proposal for a novel assisted reproductive technology (ART).
Assisted Reproductive Technology Proposal
The development and ongoing progression of ART has been pivotal to
overcoming limitations of reduced or impaired fertility status, but significant and
insurmountable barriers persist. Many individuals who wish to reproduce but do not have
the capabilities to conceive are not afforded the luxury of family planning and/or ART. In
non-heteronormative relationships, the desire of a couple to reproduce and bear a child
may be eclipsed by the inability to achieve fusion of gametes. Individuals who are childless
or infecund often face severe social stigma and mental health issues, especially for
marginalised people and in developing nations. Other individuals may have medical
conditions or undergo procedures which render them infecund.
A number of circumstances exist where individuals and/or couples are unable to conceive:
• Homosexual, intersex and other LGBTIQ2+A relationships
• Male-to-female/female-to-male individuals
• Surgical procedures (eg. Hysterectomy, bilateral orchiectomy)
• Primary Amenorrhea and maturation arrest of spermatogenesis
• Chronic conditions (eg. Endometriosis, PCOS, Metabolic syndrome-associated prostatitis)
• STI-induced infecundity (eg. Bilateral tubal occlusion, HPV-related cervical cancer, acute chlamydial epididymitis)
• Chromosomal disorders (Eg. Turner syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome)
• Congenital disorders (Eg. Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, Androgen insensitivity syndrome, Pure gonadal dysgenesis)
• Childhood cancer survivors
Currently, the prevailing options for these individuals are limited to: donor conception,
surrogacy, fostering/adoption or childlessness. In many of these circumstances, there are
no treatments, therapies or technologies which overcome reproductive barriers. There can
also be profound cultural and religious beliefs or “justifications” which allege why some
individuals shouldn’t be able to reproduce. Without appropriate acknowledgement, further
ART development, and medical advances; the under-representation, marginalisation, and
social isolation of these individuals in society is exacerbated.
There is no doubt that established ARTs can already overcome significant reproductive
barriers (eg. ICSI for individuals with Klinefelter disease). However, as all individuals are
diverse, so too are the reproductive barriers they face. The MRKH syndrome, for example,
permits oogenesis in affected individuals, but they are often born with only a partial uterus
or without a uterus entirely. Similarly, a hysterectomy may be required for cervical cancer
patients whilst still within optimal reproductive age, and for many young adults with cancer
most chemotherapy treatments render them infertile. There are options for storing sperm
(expensive) and for taking sections of ovarian tissue for storage and later implantation, but
the latter is still somewhat experimental, and available only in 1st world countries. The
ethical implications of collecting gametes from minors undergoing cancer therapy is also
an important consideration.
In other instances, individuals who have undergone complete surgery for male-to-female
transition ordinarily have a vagina and vulva, but have no uterus and all gonadal tissue is
removed. Additionally, individuals afflicted by androgen insensitivity syndrome and primary
amenorrhea may produce immature germ line cells, but cannot ejaculate or ovulate.
Despite these unique and formidable limitations, scientific advances such as gene therapy,
transdifferentiation and artificial womb technologies may provide solutions.
Your task as a group, is to think about these issues and develop a proposal for a novel ART. For this assignment you need to:
1. Demonstrate understanding of why there is still a need for the development of new ARTs to support individuals unable to conceive or reproduce.
2. Clearly explain the specific demographic for your novel ART and the reasoning for their need.
3. Describe how your ART is tailored to work for your target.
4. Possible societal implications of your ART device.
To get you thinking, access some of these publications:
Infographic 25% One infographic and accompanying information per student. Submitted in LMS.
Electronic poster presentation
15% One PowerPoint presentation per group. Submitted to LMS after presentation
During class Weeks 11 or 12
There will be a penalty for late submission unless an extension has been prior approved
by a University Special Consideration. Penalty is a deduction of 5% (of the value of the
component) per day for the first 7 days (including weekends and public holidays) after
which the assigned work is not accepted. Each 24-hour block is recorded from the time to
assignment is due. Where there are a number of tasks within an assessment item, the late
penalty may be applied holistically to the assessment item after all tasks have been
Note: for group components all members of the group will be penalised for late
Infographic (25% of unit value)
Each group member will prepare an individual infographic on the novel ART proposed by
the group. We have chosen this as an assessment due to feedback from prospective
employers that Infographic design is a desired skill, and it’s something you may use in
your future employment. Your infographic should be 600px x 1800px and be tailored to
communicate to the potential user of your ART. Canva or PowerPoint can be used to
make the Infographic. In the Infographic, inform your potential user on the benefits of your
novel ART, describe how it works, and let them know of any limitations.
With the infographic submission, you must include two additional paragraphs with in-text
citations (maximum 500 words in total). The first paragraph describes how your ART
works. The second paragraph should describe your target user and how you have tailored
your infographic to communicate to them. You will also include a list of references correctly
formatted (APA style). Your assignment should be one document. Use a page break to
separate your infographic from the paragraphs and Reference list. If you use images that
are not from Creative Commons or you didn’t draw them yourself, please provide a source
for them. This can be done underneath the References using the subheading “Image
You should be tailoring the infographic so it is directly communicating to your target user
who needs the ART (not a medical professional or scientist). You should assume high
school science knowledge level so you will need to clearly communicate (through images
and text) the anatomical / hormonal / reproductive biology terms. Do not assume technical
knowledge. With an assessment like this, it’s always handy to run it past a friend or family
member with limited science background to see if they understand it. If there’s bits they
don’t get, then that is a useful indicator that you need to develop things better.
A key component of an infographic is using visual elements to communicate your ideas – if
it is text heavy it will be an ineffective infographic communication. The infographic
workshop in LMS will help you with this.
The accompanying paragraphs are for your marker to assess your depth of understanding.
So, you can assume a high level of scientific understanding. This is your opportunity to
explain in depth the need for the ART, how the ART works (explain clearly the
reproductive biology), plus an understanding of your target user. The communication style
should be formal and scientific with every factual sentence referenced. It is best practice to
ensure you write acronyms in full the first time you introduce them.
As infographics are an important style of science communication that many of you will not
be familiar with, we have dedicated a Workshop@Home session to this. On LMS you will
find a section dedicated to developing an Infographic. There are resources available to get
you thinking about how to communicate with your target audience as well as how to
develop an Infographic. Students should also consult the marking rubric on the unit LMS.
Assignments should be submitted online to Turnitin via the LMS by 11:59pm on the
due date (see timetable).
You are expected to research journal articles – it is very unlikely you will find
all the information you need in a book. Evidence of consulting and critically assessing
original research articles will be viewed favourably. The library has online access to many
thousands of journals through databases such as Medline, Biol Abstracts and PsychInfo
(see the library website).
Using ‘Google’ searches as a source of information is NOT RECOMMENDED. Marks will
be deducted for infographics based on information gleaned from unreliable websites. That
said, however, there are some websites that provide very valuable information, for
example the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the World Health Organization to name a
few, and you should not be discouraged from using these if appropriate to your topic. If in
doubt about the quality of a website, talk to your tutor or a librarian.
How to Reference: correct referencing is fundamental to scientific writing – it allows the
reader the opportunity to locate and check the source of information if required. As a rule
avoid verbatim quotation of others (even if referenced), rather paraphrase the information
in YOUR OWN WORDS. Please use the APA 7th ed. style of referencing. The library
website has excellent information on how to reference.
Assisted Reproductive Technology Proposal Electronic poster presentation: (15% of unit value)
In addition to the Infographic each group will prepare an electronic poster, which covers
the key issues of the group’s novel ART, to be displayed at a poster forum during the last
laboratory sessions. Electronic posters are PowerPoint presentations suitable for display
at a “kiosk” and viewable by small groups of individuals. This format is used at some
scientific conferences, for example the Fertility Society of Australia and New Zealand.
Through the presentation you will demonstrate your ability to clearly communicate key
issues in an organised manner to a scientific audience.
• Maximum of 9 PowerPoint slides per group including title page and reference slide
at end. You are also welcome to use Prezi or Powtoon to construct your slides.
• Font size must be legible on a 17 inch screen when displayed in landscape format
and viewed from a distance of one metre.
• Slides and animations must change automatically – ensure you allow enough time
for individuals to read each slide. Maximum time allowed is 6 minutes.
• No speaking during the presentation. The PowerPoint should speak for itself; it
should be coherent, integrated and visually attractive.
• Four minute question time will follow each presentation.
We will be using the computers in G.03. It is your responsibility to ensure that your
presentation is loaded and working in time for the start of the session. The
computer that will be used for the presentation is a PC. Ensure that if you have used
a Mac to construct your presentation you check on a PC that formatting and
animation timing is correct.
The presentation will be marked on the following criteria:
Introduction of topic and main lines of argument Information (20%): balanced coverage of key issues.
Rationale (20%): logical arguments supported with evidence.
Conclusion (20%): conclusion draws lines of argument together and is based on the evidence provided.
Presentation (10%): attractive and balanced layout; legible font with not too much text; appropriate use of graphics; well-timed animation etc.
Team roles (10%): balanced contribution from each member, engagement in discussion with the audience.
Format: On the allocated day, each group will present their poster on the main lecture screen in G03. They will then answer questions from the audience.
Plagiarism is “the taking and using as one’s own of the thoughts, writings or inventions of
another”1. These thoughts or writings could be, for example, from a book, the internet or
from the work of another student.
Like the scientific process, assessment of students at university relies upon the integrity of
the participants. The School expects that any piece of work submitted by a student for
assessment will be essentially their own work, and that the contributions of others to that
work will be appropriately acknowledged. In essence, all students are expected to write
their own essays and assignments, just as they are expected to sit the exams themselves.
Students should generally avoid verbatim copying of published work, even when the work
is cited. They are strongly encouraged to express their knowledge and thoughts in their
own words, rather than those of others, because this greatly assists the learning process.
However, it is acknowledged that in some circumstances it is desirable to quote directly
from a published work.
Plagiarism is a very serious offence that carries substantial penalties. If a student is found
to have committed plagiarism, the student may receive a failing grade for the work in
question and the School may recommend the matter be dealt with under University Statute
17 (Misconduct). The student may be excluded from the unit.
These guidelines are not intended, in any sense, to discourage students from
discussing their views with other students, staff or others outside the university.
Indeed this is strongly encouraged as it is one of the very best ways of learning.
Any student who does not fully understand these guidelines or who experiences difficulties
in following them should consult their tutor or unit co-ordinator.
1 Little W, Fowler HW, Coulson J & Onions CT. (1964) The Shorter Oxford English
dictionary on historical principles. Clarendon Press, Oxford. p1513.
Assisted Reproductive Technology Proposal REFERENCES
Information and figures used within this practical book are derived from the following texts.
Material within this practical manual has been reproduced on behalf of The University of
Western Australia pursuant to Part VB of the Copyright Act 1968 (the Act). Material within
this practical manual may be subject to copyright under the Act. Any further reproduction
or communication of this material by you may be the subject of copyright protection under
- Saladin K.S. and Gan C.A. Anatomy & Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function (8th Edition), Mc-Graw Hill Education.
- Johnson, M.H. and Everitt, B.J. (1995) Essential Reproduction. 4th edn, Blackwell Science
- Heffner, L.J. (2001) Human Reproduction at a Glance. Blackwell Science.
- Ross, M.H., Romrell L.J. and Kaye, G.I. (1995) Histology: A Text and Atlas. 3rd edn. Williams and Wilkins.
- Carlson, B.M. (1994) Human Embryology and Developmental Biology. Mosby: Baltimore.
- Moore, K.L. (1989) Before We Are Born. Basic Embryology and Birth Defects. 3rd edn W.B.Saunders, Philadelphia.
- Austin, C.R. and Short, R.V. (1972) Reproduction in Mammals: Books 1 to 5. Cambridge University Press.
- Knobil, E. and Neill, J.D. (1988) The Physiology of Reproduction. Raven Press, New York.
- Junqueira, L.C. and Carneiro, J. (1980) Basic Histology. 3rd edn. Lange: Los Altos.