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An Artificial Ovary
September 29, 2010 3:48 PM   Subscribe

Using a 3-D petri dish, Researchers at Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island have built a completely functional artificial human ovary that will allow doctors to harvest immature human egg cells (oocytes) and grow them into mature, ready-to-be-fertilized human eggs outside the body. (In vitro) The advance could eventually help preserve fertility for women facing chemotherapy or other medical treatments that may be destructive to ovarian folliculogenesis. Press Release. Article link. (paywall)

"The Brown researchers' innovation was using a honeycomb-shaped mold to support the egg. Human eggs are too large to be grown without some kind of support structure. "If you try to grow it by itself, in a dish, it basically collapses on itself," says [Stephan] Krotz, now a reproductive endocrinologist and fertility specialist at the Advanced Fertility Center of Texas."
In other, somewhat related news, researchers in Cairo announced that they've been able to restore ovarian function to rats using embryonic rat mesenchymal stem cells.
posted by zarq (24 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Countdown to Right-to-Lifers interfering in 10...9...8...7...
posted by Muddler at 3:51 PM on September 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Fine, whatever, but tell me, how's that search for the cure for arthritis going?

Just sayin'
posted by IndigoJones at 3:55 PM on September 29, 2010


Countdown to Right-to-Lifers interfering in 10...9...8...7...

It is curious to me that science -- which is helping the lame walk, helping the blind see, and curing sickness and disease -- is attacked so relentlessly by religious groups. Shouldn't they be pouring some of their donation money into science research to help more people instead of using the money to undermine it?
posted by notion at 4:04 PM on September 29, 2010


What could possibly go wrong?
posted by zardoz at 4:07 PM on September 29, 2010


So the humans that are born from these lab-grown ova, will they have fully functional mouse brains?
posted by localroger at 4:10 PM on September 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Dear IndigoJones,

the cure for arthritis is #6 in our queue of things to cure, following (#1) HIV/AIDs, (#2) cancer, (#3) super bacteria (the kind that aren't susceptible to most antibiotics), (#4) influenza, and (#5) the common cold, but before (#7) shin splints.

Sorry for the delay, we can only work on one major project at a time, and our current project is pretty important to us. I hope you understand.

Sincerely,

The Scientists
posted by filthy light thief at 4:13 PM on September 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


we can only work on one major project at a time

And man, the one cafeteria that every scientist everywhere eats lunch in has CRAZY lines at lunch.
posted by GuyZero at 4:23 PM on September 29, 2010


helping the lame walk, helping the blind see, and curing sickness and disease

Are the scientists trying to put Jesus out of a job?
posted by nickmark at 4:24 PM on September 29, 2010


Human eggs are too large to be grown without some kind of support structure.

An ancillary discovery was that they tasted great in a frittata.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:24 PM on September 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Human eggs are too large to be grown without some kind of support structure.

It takes a village to form a zygote.
posted by GuyZero at 4:25 PM on September 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


LIL' RHODY, REPRESENT!

I mean, this is cool.
posted by sonika at 4:26 PM on September 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Using a 3-D petri dish, Researchers at Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island have built a completely functional artificial human ovary that will allow doctors to harvest immature human egg cells (oocytes) and grow them into mature, ready-to-be-fertilized human eggs outside the body.

Please tell me they are calling this technique the Bokanovsky Process?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:31 PM on September 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


BP - heh.

Alpha children wear grey They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm really awfuly glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard.
posted by GuyZero at 4:35 PM on September 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Kid A is on his way
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:59 PM on September 29, 2010


*Yawn*. Wake me up when they can... HOLY CRAP! We can make organs.

Sometimes, the world is awesome. Will this technology work for other organs, i.e., livers, lungs, kidneys?


we can only work on one major project at a time

Where on the list is my damn jetpack?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:19 PM on September 29, 2010


so we don't need women anymore?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:58 PM on September 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


so we don't need women anymore?

Wait let me get this straight. Besides using them for artificial ovaries you can also use a 3-D petri dish for sex?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:18 PM on September 29, 2010


Sure. the petrisexuals. Rule 34 applies, doesn't it?
posted by hippybear at 9:20 PM on September 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


What fresh hell awaits us when soon there will be an egg for every sperm?
posted by wobh at 9:34 PM on September 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


HOLY CRAP! We can make organs.

Amusingly enough, I posted this in July.
posted by zarq at 9:38 PM on September 29, 2010


so we don't need women anymore?

Where pray tell, will we get oocytes without 'em?
posted by zarq at 9:39 PM on September 29, 2010


Where pray tell, will we get oocytes without 'em?

Clone them from stem cells???
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:12 PM on September 29, 2010


so we don't need women anymore?

Good luck incubating that fetus without one.

More seriously, this is amazing science, and exciting news for women with fertility problems. Well, it will be in 20 or 30 years when it becomes mainstream...
posted by lollusc at 12:40 AM on September 30, 2010


Researchers Take Another Step Toward Stem Cells Without Embryos
posted by homunculus at 12:46 PM on October 1, 2010


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