Rewriting the Rules of Human Reproduction

Rewriting the Rules of Human Reproduction

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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 even lead to a reversal of the menopause in older women.

Scientists are about to request a licence from the UK fertility watchdog to fertilize the eggs as part of a series of tests to generate an unlimited supply of human eggs, a breakthrough that could help infertile women to have babies as well as making women as fertile in later life as men. 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.

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