In a first, mouse eggs grown from skin cells | Science News

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In a first, mouse eggs grown from skin cells

Lab technique re-creating ovary conditions in a dish needs refinement

11:00am, October 17, 2016
cells and mice

EGG-CITING TIP  Skin cells from the tip of a mouse’s tail were reprogrammed into eggs (left) made entirely in a lab dish. Some of those eggs produced healthy mice (two shown, right).

For the first time, researchers have grown eggs entirely in a lab dish.

Skin-producing cells called fibroblasts from the tip of an adult mouse’s tail have been reprogrammed to make eggs, Japanese researchers report online October 17 in Nature. Those eggs were fertilized and grew into six healthy mice. The accomplishment could make it possible to study the formation of gametes — eggs and sperm — a mysterious process that takes place inside fetuses. If the feat can be repeated with human cells, it could make eggs easily available for research and may eventually lead to infertility treatments.

“This is very solid work, and an important step in the field,” says developmental biologist Diana Laird of the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the study. But, she cautions, “I wouldn’t want patients who have infertility to think this can

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