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Egg production after birth questioned

Study finds no evidence of stem cells in mouse ovaries

3:53pm, July 9, 2012

Women may indeed be limited to the number of eggs their ovaries contain at birth, a new study finds, directly contradicting recent research that suggests otherwise.

Scientists have long thought that female mammals, including humans, are born with all the egg cells they will ever have. But a few papers, culminating with a study published earlier this year in Nature Medicine, have suggested that ovaries contain rare stem cells that can replenish egg supplies (SN: 4/7/12, p. 8). These egg-producing stem cells could lead to new treatments for fertility problems, ways to delay menopause and advancements in the basic understanding of human egg cells.

Not so fast, says Kui Liu, a molecular reproductive biologist at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Working with mice, Liu and his colleagues used a technique to identify egg cells and their precursors in ovaries. The team found no evidence of the stem cells in ovaries that reproductiv

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