Breakthrough

Human Eggs Have Been Grown in a Lab for the First Time

Women and girls at risk of premature fertility loss, such as those undergoing cancer treatment, could be helped by a new breakthrough that has seen human eggs grown in a lab for the first time. Scientists from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland said their research gives them a better understanding of how human eggs develop and possibly offers women and girls who are at risk of becoming infertile–such as those receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy–a way to extract working eggs, have them grown in the lab, and then fertilized at a later date, after which the embryo would be implanted into the woman. Consultant gynecologist Stuart Lavery told the BBC: “This work represents a genuine step forward in our understanding. Although still in small numbers and requiring optimization, this preliminary work offers hope for patients.”