Science & Technology
Scientists create mice from artificial eggs
By T.K. Randall
October 17, 2016 · 9 comments
It is now possible to create fertilizable eggs in a laboratory. Image Credit: sxc.hu
Japanese scientists have succeeded in creating female mouse eggs using cells from the animals' tails.
In what has been described as a 'remarkable' breakthrough, researchers from Kyushu University not only managed to create viable eggs in a laboratory but even succeeded in having a female mouse bring them to term.
The technique involved taking tissue cells from the tail of a mouse and then reprogramming them as stem cells to turn them in to eggs. These were then fertilized and implanted in to a female mouse.
The resulting pups turned out to be perfectly healthy despite their unique conception.
"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," said Professor Katsuhiko Hayashi.
"We need to now carefully look at the quality of mouse artificial eggs. This kind of quality check will contribute to an application to humans in future."
In the future this technique could prove extremely beneficial to women suffering from infertility.
"This is the first report of anyone being able to develop fully mature and fertilizable eggs in a laboratory setting right through from the earliest stages of egg development," said clinical reproductive scientist Professor Richard Anderson.
"Although we are a long way from making artificial eggs for women at the moment, this study also provides us with a basis for experimental models to explore how eggs develop from other species, including in women."
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