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) [more inside]
Functional Neurons Induced From Adult Stem Cells. Meanwhile, stem cells may be better than bone marrow for certain cancers, and have the potential to revolutionize the supply of blood. Anecdotal success stories continue to pile up.
Stem cells target cancer tumors. There has been some promising research with embryonic and adult stem cells in the fight against cancer. Meanwhile, California approved $3 billion for stem cell research, good news (debatably) since the 22 stem cell lines available for federally-funded research are contaminated with mouse cells and unusable for treatment in humans, but I wonder if California might end up in a federalism showdown with the new Senate over this. Maybe it will be less of an issue now that researchers have figured out how to derive stem cells from a morula, a four-day old embryo, without destroying it.