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Stem Cell Research

Scientists Create Stem Cells from Unfertilised Eggs

20 years, 10 months ago

8260  0
Posted on May 30, 2003, 11 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Scientists have successfully managed to create stem cells from unfertilised mouse eggs. If the technique is proven to work on human eggs, it should provide scientists with an unlimited source of stem cells, while avoiding government restrictions on research using cells taken from human embryos. Using chemicals the researchers first "tricked" the egg into thinking it had been fertilized, and then treated the dividing cells with growth factors that instructed them to develop into nerve cells.

Scientists have successfully managed to create stem cells from unfertilised mouse eggs. If the technique is proven to work on human eggs, it should provide scientists with an unlimited source of stem cells, while avoiding government restrictions on research using cells taken from human embryos. Using chemicals the researchers first "tricked" the egg into thinking it had been fertilized, and then treated the dividing cells with growth factors that instructed them to develop into nerve cells. Further work is needed to determine whether the cells are full functional, and if the technique can be reproduced in humans. The only drawback is that only women will be able to generate tissue for themselves, as it is not possible to produce the cells from sperm.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.bioexchange.com on the 23rd October 2001

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