Stem cell research on ovaries 'could revolutionise fertility treatment'

The findings of new stem cell research could one day lead to new fertility technologies for women.

This is the claim of Dr Jonathan Tilly, director of the Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology in the Massachusetts General Hospital Vincent Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, US, who led the study to find oocyte-producing stem cells in adult females.

The isolation of such cells, which have been found able to create functional eggs in mice, calls into question previous beliefs that a woman is born with a finite number of ova.

Dr Tilly's research follows up on several earlier investigations into the matter by the scientist's team and others around the world - which suggested new oocytes may be developed in adulthood - and the doctor now says he has proved for the first time this is indeed possible.

He argued this "opens the door for development of unprecedented technologies to overcome infertility in women and perhaps even delay the timing of ovarian failure".

The study is published in the journal Nature and comes after cellular biologist Dr Shahar Lev-Ari and traditional Chinese medicine practitioner Keren Sela of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Tel Aviv Medical Center in Israel recently claimed to have discovered eastern remedies can improve western fertility treatment in an investigation described in the Journal of Integrative Medicine.

Posted by Carla MackenzieADNFCR-2094-ID-801303086-ADNFCR

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