Eggs made in lab raise hope for infertility cure

For the first time, researchers claim to have developed viable eggs using normal cells from adult mice, raising hope for cure for infertility in humans.

The breakthrough raises the possibility that women who are unable to produce eggs naturally could now have them created in a test tube from their own cells and then plant them back into their body, Japanese researchers said.

The research team, from Kyoto University, started with, "blank" stem cells capable of turning into other types and used a cocktail of nutrients to turn them into very early-stage eggs, the 'Daily Mail' reported. These were then grown in the lab with ovary cells before being transplanted into mice ovaries to mature.

The next step in the complicated process involved removing the eggs and using In vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques to fertilize them.

Eight pups were born via two different techniques. One recently died but the others were all healthy and some have gone on to have litters of their own. In future, it might be possible to replicate the process, using just a sliver of a woman's skin as the stem cell source.

Although some progress has been made before, this is the first time scientists have succeeded in making fully-functional eggs.

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