Artificial Ovary Grown in Lab

Scientists at Brown University have grown an ovary in a Petri dish, using donated cells. The organ is more than a tissue culture; it is a working organ composed of three specific types of tissue which each have their own functions.
“An ovary is composed of three main cell types, and this is the first time that anyone has created a 3-D tissue structure with triple cell line,” says Sandra Carson, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Brown University.

Carson, the study’s senior author, says the ovary not only provides a living laboratory for investigating fundamental questions about how healthy ovaries work, but also can act as a testbed for seeing how problems, such as exposure to toxins or other chemicals, can disrupt egg maturation and health.

But does it function like an ovary should?
The big test, however, was whether the structure could function like an ovary—namely to mature eggs. In experiments the structure was able to nurture eggs from the “early antral follicle” stage to full maturity.

The artificial ovary does not produce its own eggs, but might be a way to store and grow immature eggs harvested from women who must undergo cancer therapy, for instance. For now, the organ will be used for fertility research. Link -via Holy Kaw!

(Image credit: Carson lab/Brown)

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neato. i hope this will help influence the ignorant people against stem cell research and cloning that good things really do come from these experiments.
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