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Redefining reproduction? Immature human eggs made from blood cells

| | October 12, 2018

We all know how babies are made: sperm meets egg, molecular magic happens, and an entire human comes to life from a single cell.

But is that the only way?

For a decade, scientists have been in a heated race to redefine reproduction as we know it. Relying on a Nobel Prize-winning technique, these cellular reprogrammers are painstakingly uncovering the secret code that can turn a skin or blood cell into other cell types—including those that link one generation with the next.

If they succeed, the implications are mind-blowing: with a simple blood draw or cheek swab, scientists could erase those cells’ identities and transform them into bona fide sperm or egg cells. Infertility could be a thing of the past. Women could have children regardless of age.

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[Recently,] a Japanese team reported a formula that transforms human blood cells into immature eggs. With the help of an artificial womb made from mouse ovary cells, the human cells underwent changes to their DNA that mimics those in a 10-week-old, normal human egg.

The resulting eggs are far from full-blown eggs, and they can’t yet be fertilized to create human embryos.

But “this cannot be denied as a spectacular next step,” said Dr. Eli Adashi at Brown University.

Read full, original post: Human Immature Eggs Made From Blood Cells for the First Time

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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