General Article Artificial eggs from stem cells marks fertility breakthrough

– but human application is a long way off

Mouse pups born through technique were normal with no sign of premature death.

By Adam Watkins

Scientists have for the first time shown that fully mature egg cells can be grown in the lab, raising hope for new infertility treatments.

Until now, researchers have only been able to produce cells that resemble sperm or eggs, but which can rarely produce live offspring because of abnormal organisation of their genetic material. But a team at Kyushu University, Japan, have now turned stem cells from mice into mature eggs that can be fertilised and develop into healthy, fertile adults. This could lead to a way for women who can’t naturally produce working eggs to have new ones made from their own cells.

Embryonic stem cells are living cells taken from an embryo that have the ability to develop into any other kind of cell. The researchers from the Kyushu University team previously demonstrated tha

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