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Biotech Science

Stem Cells That May Make Eggs Found In Women 142

sciencehabit writes "Men typically produce working sperm as long as they live, but most textbooks say female mammals are born with all the egg cells, or oocytes, they will ever have. Since 2004, however, reproductive biologist Jonathan Tilly of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston has challenged that conventional wisdom, arguing that in mice—and perhaps also in humans—there must be an ongoing source of new eggs. Today, Tilly and his colleagues report isolating rare cells in ovarian tissue from adult women that can grow in lab dishes and form immature oocytes. The potential egg stem cells could help scientists devise new ways to help rescue the fertility of women who have to undergo cancer treatments or who suffer from premature menopause."
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Stem Cells That May Make Eggs Found In Women

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  • by LongearedBat ( 1665481 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @11:32PM (#39168793)

    holds a patent on the human egg stem cells

    Public funds or not... in my opinion that is the rat I'm smelling.

  • Eggs found (Score:4, Informative)

    by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @04:34AM (#39170075) Homepage Journal

    So it's now acceptable to refer to them as chicks?

  • by smellsofbikes ( 890263 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:21PM (#39173407) Journal

    If it's dangerous for the mother, think of the child in the womb

    Babies born by older mothers have much higher chances of having being born with many types of defects. Down syndrome is just one of them.

    But you have completely missed the reason. It is because of the old eggs. If a 45yo woman is pregnant using a donor egg from a young woman, all those risks go away.

    Actually, there's extensive evidence that it isn't because of old eggs: it's because as a woman gets closer to menopause her body spontaneously aborts less often, so she'll bear children with defects, that when she was in her twenties her body would've dumped. Tim Birkhead in "Promiscuity: the evolution of sperm competition" discusses this quite a bit. The theory is that when she's younger her body wants to focus its resources on only the best offspring, and as she approaches menopause, it's more important to just have kids to pass on her genes, than it is to be selective.

The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Paul Erlich