Health Desk: 08 February 2018: Scientists have grown human egg cells to full maturity in the lab in a potential breakthrough for fertility treatment, they announced in a study published Friday.
Researchers in New York and Edinburgh developed a new method to grow eggs from very early-stage cells obtained from ovary tissue, a team reported in the journal Molecular Human Reproduction.
The eggs were grown to the point at which they could be fertilized.
This had previously been achieved with mouse egg cells, while human eggs had been successfully cultivated starting from a much later stage of development.
“The latest study is the first time a human egg has been developed in the lab from its earliest stage to full maturity,” said a statement from the University of Edinburgh.
Experts who did not take part in the research hailed the achievement as promising but stressed it would take years to translate into a safe and proven therapy.
“This is an elegant piece of work, demonstrating for the first time that human eggs can be grown to maturity in a laboratory,” Channa Jayasena of the Imperial College London said in a comment on the study results.
Study co-author Evelyn Telfer of the University of Edinburgh said the team was now studying how healthy the eggs are.
“We also hope to find out, subject to regulatory approval, whether they can be fertilized,” she said.--AFP