Japanese Researchers Are Close To Creating Eggs And Sperm In The Lab

A developmental geneticist at the Osaka University in Japan has become a pioneer in one of the most controversial yet exciting fields of research- in vitro gametogenesis (IVG). This procedure is a hypothetical (not for long) ability to create gametes out of the human body.

The goal of IVG is to make several copies of the artificial eggs and sperm from any cell in the human body. This will allow people, irrespective of their preference, to have a genetically identical baby.

The technical challenges of the procedure can be overcome, however, there are several ethical challenges that are tied to this. The ethical issues are related to the use of this procedure in the future and if it could be detrimental to humanity.

“Applying this kind of technology to humans is really important. I really, really get excited about that.” Hayashi shared. The scientist’s effort may just get us close to the process becoming a reality soon.

Induced pluripotent stem cells are used for the process and these form an island where the cells grow while being in contact with each other. As per the theory, induced pluripotent cells can be formed from any cell and theoretically turn into any other kind of cell.

This ability of the pluripotent cells may help solve several human ailments. Hayashi and his team’s decision to use these cells helped them turn skin cells from mice tail into mouse eggs.

The scientist explained his methodology- stating that the equipment used for his experiment involved a dish with ovarian organoids that were nurturing the cells made from the induced pluripotent stem cells.

The scientist had recently sent scientific shock waves across the world to breed healthy, human embryos after Hayashi successfully created healthy, fertile mice. Hayashi’s colleague, Mitinori Saitou, director of the Advanced Study of Human Biology Institute at Kyoto University, was successful in creating the first human egg through IVG.

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