A team of scientists from the UK managed to develop human eggs in the laboratory, for the first time in history. The whole event was considered by the specialists a remarkable progress to improve women’s fertility, as it informs the Press Association.
A big help for women with fertility problems
Researchers removed oocytes from the ovarian tissue at their earliest stage of development and “cultivated” them to the point they were ready for fertilization, according to the study published in Molecular Human Reproduction.
Women who undergo treatments that can have side effects on fertility such as chemotherapy have an important reproductive chance by allowing the procedure to recover their immature oocytes, mature them in the laboratory, and store them for future fertilization.
Human eggs have been grown in the lab for the first time in history
Earlier, scientists have managed to develop mice ovules and obtain live descendants, as well as mature human ovules from a later stage of oocyte development. But this study has for the first time been able to develop an egg in the laboratory from its earliest stage to full maturity, scientists say.
Further, researchers want to know how healthy these eggs are and whether they can be successfully used for fertilization.
“The full development of human ovules in the laboratory can widen the range of treatments available to increase fertility. We are working to optimize the conditions that support the development of the egg and study their health. We also hope to find out, subject to legal regulation, whether they can be fertilized,” said Evelyn Telfer, a professor at the University of Edinburgh’s Faculty of Biological Sciences.
The study was conducted by the Royal Edinburgh Infirmary, the New York Human Reproduction Center, and the Royal Children’s Hospital in Edinburgh with the support of the UK Medical Research Council (MRC).