Six healthy mice have been “produced” in the lab with the help of the mother’s skin. The mice grown in lab conditions are currently healthy. The cells that produce skin are named fibroblasts. These cells have been programmed to produce eggs. After that, the Japanese researchers just fertilized them and 6 mice appeared.
This is the first time that the researchers were able to do this process and make the healthy mice. This could be a great step and it could start the study of gametes (sperm and eggs). The formation of gametes is the process that happens inside fetuses. If scientists can make the same process by using skin from humans they can make new treatments for infertility.
The skin cells are more powerful than the embryonic stem cells because they are made to reproduce themselves really fast. They are also more flexible and the process can be more difficult than the one used now to make babies from fertilized eggs.
Making eggs in a lab is a very hard task and it requires some help from cells that can support the growth of eggs like ovary cells.
The researchers programmed the cells to produce germ cells after that they needed to put the eggs in mice in order to develop properly.
With mice, it was a successful process but with humans, the process is much more complex. In order to make a baby, the cells need to be supported by other cells that can’t yet be produced in the lab.
In order to make these baby mice the researchers extracted ovarian cells and mixed them with the skin cells. They waited 11 days and after that, the eggs were ready for fertilization. 11 days is the time in which eggs develop in the ovary of a mouse as well. This means that for humans, researchers need to wait up to 12 months for the eggs to be mature.
These eggs were put in the uteruses of a female mouse and after this, the six little mice were born. After they were born the mice grown in lab appeared to be healthy and they could make babies of their own.
This is not a successful process every time. In many cases, the eggs don’t fertilize and they could never produce a baby.
The researchers mentioned that if this is going to apply for humans they need to make more studies to see if babies are going to suffer from any disease.
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