Copenhagen: Scientists at a British university have created cells that could eventually become human sperm and eggs. The results of research at the University of Sheffield’s Centre for Stem Cell Biology has been revealed to a meeting of fertility experts in Copenhagen.
The findings of the study, led by Professor Henry Moore, presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology’s annual conference in Copenhagen could help infertile couples to have their own children.
The researchers used stem cells – the body’s master cells that have the potential to turn into any tissue – from human embryos donated by couples undergoing IVF treatments. Though this use does have ethical problems over the use of human embryos.
Althought the researchers did not produce egg or sperm the cells displayed some of the characteristics in their development.
Stem cells can also be harvested from adult adult bone marrow which means it could be possible for infertile women and men to eventually ‘grow’ their own eggs and sperm.
Professor Moore said more research was needed to find out if the technique was viable.