Researchers at the University of Edinburgh, a major research university, say that for the first time ever, human eggs have been grown in a laboratory. This is giving researchers hope that these eggs could start being used to help people in the future.
Eggs have never before been able to be fully developed outside the body. Scientists, however, say that it requires a lot of work because oxygen levels, hormones, growth-stimulating growth proteins, and the medium must be carefully controlled in the laboratory.
How Were the Scientists Able to Grow Human Eggs
A study paper presenting the achievement was released in the journal MHR. Researchers consider that the next step in the process is to make the process more efficient. Less than 10 percent of the eggs grew during this experiment round.
Also, the ones that did grow were smaller than the average human egg. Researchers also not sure if the lab specimens can be fertilized.
Professor Evelyn Telfer of the University of Edinburgh stated that: “It’s very exciting to obtain proof of principle that it’s possible to reach this stage in human tissue.”
However, it is important to note, that this is a long way from producing a viable embryo using the egg in the laboratory.
Scientists are hopeful that this process may help young people who had their ovaries removed at an early age have their own babies. Still, they are also concerned that the eggs may not shed off half their DNA during the fertilization process. That is if they can be fertilized at all.
Professor Telfer says that this is an important step forward. She believes that the next step is to try to create an embryo in the lab.
The University of Edinburgh does not have a license from the government to carry out these experiments. Therefore, scientists are debating if they should apply for a permit or work with someone who already has it.
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