By OTHERSOctober 20, 2016Print : World
By Sarah Knapton
Artificial eggs have been grown in a petri dish for the first time, and used to create living animals in a breakthrough hailed as ‘remarkable’ by British experts.
Scientists in Japan proved it is possible to take tissue cells from the tail of a mouse, reprogramme them as stem cells and then turn them into eggs in the lab.
The ‘eggs in a dish’ were then fertilised and the resulting embryos were implanted in female mice which went on to give birth to 11 healthy pups.
If the procedure is found to work in humans it could help more women become mothers. Women are born with all their eggs, so can struggle to conceive as they grow older because their eggs also age.But if eggs could be made from stem cells they would be brand new, and may even produce healthier babies.
The technique could also help women who are born with fewer eggs than normal, or whose ovaries have stopped releasing eggs. Scientists say it could even help to bring back extinct animals.
Professor Katsuhiko Hayashi, of the department of developmental stem cell biology at Kyushu University, said: “This is the first time a functional egg has been produced from stem cells in culture which gives us some clue to human egg production from stem cells.