Scientists fully mature human eggs in a laboratory

Scientists from Britain and the United States have developed the first human eggs to grow from the early stages in ovarian tissue to full maturity in a laboratory.

"This early data suggests this may well be feasible in the future," said Ali Abbara, a senior clinical lecturer in endocrinology at Imperial College London. "[But] the technology remains at an early stage, and much more work is needed to make sure that the technique is safe and optimized before we ascertain whether these eggs remain normal during the process, and can be fertilized to form embryos that could lead to healthy babies."

While mouse eggs have been grown in a laboratory and matured to produce live offspring, developing mature human eggs from the earliest stages is a leap forward in advancing medical therapies and infertility treatments.

"Being able to fully develop human eggs in the lab could widen the scope of available fertility treatments. We are now working on optimizing the conditions that support egg development in this way and studying how healthy they are," said Evelyn Telfer, who co-led the work.