Leyla Raiani
Apr 10, 2012

Scientists rewrite rules of human reproduction

Researchers at Edinburgh University are working with a Harvard Medical School team in Boston to be first in the world to fertilize human eggs created from stem cells isolated from human ovarian tissue.The first human egg cells that have been grown entirely in the laboratory from stem cells could be fertilized later this year in a development that will revolutionize fertility treatment and might lead to a reversal of the menopause in older women. Producing human eggs from stem cells would also open up the possibility of replenishing the ovaries of older women so that they do not suffer the age-related health problems associated with the menopause, from osteoporosis to heart disease. Evelyn Telfer, a reproductive biologist at Edinburgh University, has already informally approached the UK’s Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority with a view to submit a formal license application to allow fertilization as part of a series of tests to generate an unlimited supply of human eggs.