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Women may make new eggs

If true, finding could lead to new fertility treatments

By
7:44pm, December 13, 2012

2012 SCIENCE NEWS TOP 25: 8

For more than 50 years the matter had been considered settled: A woman grows all the eggs she will ever have before she is even born. But a study published this year, and then contested, suggests that this long-accepted fact may not be true.

Stem cells in the ovaries of both women and mice replenish egg supplies throughout adulthood (SN: 4/7/12, p. 8), reported a team led by Jonathan Tilly, a reproductive and developmental biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. With aging, the stem cells’ capacity to make eggs diminishes, eventually petering out at menopause, Tilly says.

Many people hailed the news because it raises the possibility of growing eggs in laboratory dishes for use

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