Human Egg, Sperm Precursors Created in the Lab

December 29, 2014 3:32 PM

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Human Egg, Sperm Precursors Created in the Lab

Resetting the developmental clock of human stem cells, scientists have been able to create primordial stem cells (PGCs) in the laboratory. This feat, already achieved in mice and rats, is now possible in humans because scientists discovered how to coax human stem cells to assume a more “naïve” state—a more thoroughly epigenetically “reset” state. To induce this state and go on to create human PGCs, the scientists had to recognize how techniques developed for mice and rats were unsuitable for human cells. Ultimately, the techniques the scientists developed succeeded with both human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.

The creation of human PGCs was accomplished by University of Cambridge researchers led by M. Azim Surani, Ph.D., and Weizmann Institute of Science researchers led by Jacob Hanna., M.D., Ph.D. Together, the researchers compiled their findings and reported them December 24 in the journal Cell, in an a...

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