Stem cells may lead to artificial eggs

Scientists have created eggs from stem cells! This follows their initial work creating artificial sperm from stem cells. Although both are in mice, it is a great start and no doubt eventually will lead to human sperm & eggs.

A breakthrough has occurred this week, allowing scientists inJapanto grow fully functioning eggs and use them in In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) to create healthy young. The work, which was carried out on mice subjects, led the baby mice that were born during the experiment to then go on and have their own babies when they were grown.

The work has been cited as astonishing, and researchers have claimed that the results could mean infertile women could eventually grow their own eggs. It could also mean that more insights will be established into female infertility, as well as allowing women to become pregnant later in life if they haven’t conceived earlier. In addition, it could contribute towards the production of infertility drugs.

While the work is remarkable, it is still in its early stages. There are so many differences between the genetic makeup of mice and people that a large range of safety testing would have to be undertaken. This could mean that the test tube eggs could be as many as ten years away from being using in fertility clinics. Additionally, the laws in many countries would need to be changed to allow such treatment to be accepted.

While there are several questions being raised about the reliability, safety and validity of the research, the findings can provide hope for the future for families struggling to conceive through natural means.

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The writer is a fertility specialist with over 20 years experience in the field. This site is intended to provide up to date fertility information for the interested.
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