(International British Times) – British scientists have been successful in creating primitive forms of artificial sperms and eggs from human skin cells, marking an achievement that could not only transform the understanding of age- and sex-related diseases but also come as a boon for infertile couples, according to media reports. The breakthrough comes two years after scientists in Japan successfully demonstrated the technique by creating baby mice from stem cells.
The scientists from the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge, working in collaboration with the Weizmann Institute in Israel, initially created the “primordial germ cells” normally found within testes and ovaries using human embryonic stem cells cultured in carefully controlled conditions. After initial success, the researchers reportedly replicated the procedure using adult cells extracted from human skin.
“This is the first step in demonstrating that we can make primordial germ cells without putting them into patients to verify they are genuine,” Azim Surani of the University of Cambridge, reportedly said. “It’s not impossible that we could take these cells on towards making gametes (fully developed male and female sex cells), but whether we could ever use them is another question for another time.”