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Harvesting Human Eggslibfemme ( 05/17/2005, 11:48:05 )
A major obstacle to human cloning, and embryonic stem cell research, is obtaining mature oocytes, human eggs. The technique now involves fertility drugs and invasive surgery. However, what if eggs could be grown in the lab?For the first time human eggs have been developed directly from cultured ovarian surface epithelium cells derived from adult human ovaries.By scraping cells from the surface of adult ovaries and growing them for 5 to 6 days in the presence of an estrogen-containing medium (phenol red) to stimulate their growth, rsearchers at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the University of Tennessee were able to produce new human oocytes in vitro.The technique of harvesting cells from the ovarian surface is relatively easy, can be accomplished by a laparoscopy technique, and yields more cells for use for in vitro fertilization.Also, these ovarian stem cells could be used to generate several cell types used in stem cell research, and fertilized eggs produced in this way could produce cells capable of giving rise to embryonic stem cells for use in research and therapeutic applications.
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