Thanks to their ticking biological clocks, women have always been under pressure to start popping out babies sooner than later, but thanks to science, that may not be the case anymore.
Reproductive biologist Jonathan Tilly has discovered that it is possible to harvest stem cells from female ovaries and turn them into oocytes, a.k.a., egg cells.
The revolutionary study "opens up a number of exciting possibilities for preserving the fertility of women," as Tilly explained:
"The discovery of oocyte precursor cells in adult human ovaries, coupled with the fact that these cells share the same characteristic features of their mouse counterparts that produce fully functional eggs, opens the door for development of unprecedented technologies to overcome infertility in women and perhaps even delay the timing of ovarian failure. … I think it opens up the chance that sometime in the future we might get to the point of having an unlimited source of human eggs."
Science is so cool, right?
The next step in this ongoing experiment is to find out if the oocytes can be successfully turned into embryos after fertilizing with human sperm. Whether or not that actually happens is an entirely different question because there are tight ethical and legal restrictions when it comes to stuff like this.
We don't really feel like getting into all that moral stuff and just appreciate the new possibility that Tilly's team has provided for women who want to have children.
Do U think they should continue with this research to see if an embryo can be created by using this method or would that be unethical?
[Image via WENN.]
Tags: biologist, fertility, jonathan tilly, oocyte, ovaries, reproduction, stem cell, treatment, women