Scientists develop 1st fully lab-grown human eggs

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-10 02:37:02|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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LONDON, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- For the first time, human eggs have been developed in a lab from their earliest stage to full maturity, a scientific step which might lead to improved fertility treatments, according to a study released Friday by the University of Edinburgh.

A team of researchers have successfully developed suitable substances in which human eggs could be grown, according to the university. The team then used tissue donated by women who were undergoing routine surgery.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Edinburgh, the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh, the Center for Human Reproduction in New York and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.

The latest breakthrough could help safeguard the fertility of girls who have cancer before they receive potentially harmful medical treatment, such as chemotherapy. It is possible that immature eggs taken from patients' ovarian tissue could be matured in the lab and stored for later fertilization.

Being able to fully develop human eggs in a lab environment could widen the scope of available fertility treatments, said one researcher, professor Evelyn Telfer from the University of Edinburgh.

"We are now working on optimizing the conditions that support egg development in this way and studying how healthy they are. We also hope to find out, subject to regulatory approval, whether they can be fertilized," Telfer added.