Human babies 'grown in lab'
Human eggs have been created in laboratory for first time
London Evening Standard | May 5, 2005
By Oliver Stallwood
Human eggs which could grow into embryos have been created in a laboratory for the first time, scientists announced yesterday.
They were created by scraping stem cells off the surface of ovaries and exposing them to a chemical which stimulated growth.
The breakthrough suggests limitless supplies of eggs could be grown, solving the problem of the acute shortage of donor eggs for infertile women wanting IVF treatment.
But the idea has horrified pro-life groups after scientists admitted they could use the technique to 'farm' embryos for their research.
The procedure was tested by a University of Tennessee team, which took ovarian stem cells from five women aged 39 to 52.
Cells which were treated with a type of oestrogen called phenol red grew into healthy eggs.
The US researchers say their technique offers hope to cancer sufferers who become infertile through chemotherapy. They also believe
BY OLIVER STALLWOOD they could extend the fertility of a woman nearing the menopause by between ten and 12 years.
Prof Antonin Bukovsky said it offered 'new strategies' for treatment of female infertility.
Fertility watchdogs will have to approve the technique for use in Britain but welcomed its apparent medical benefits.
But pro-life campaigner Matthew O'Gorman said: 'The artificial harvesting of eggs is synonymous with the intention to manufacture human beings for research. This is unethical, unnecessary and unacceptable.'