Researchers say they have extracted stem cells from human ovaries and made them generate new egg cells. The advance, as reported in the New York Times, if confirmed, might provide a new source of eggs for treating infertility, though scientists say it is far too early to tell if the work holds such promise.
Women are born with a complement of egg cells that must last throughout life. The ability to isolate stem cells from which eggs could be cultivated would help not only with fertility but also with biologists’ understanding of how drugs and nutrition affect the egg cells.
Even if this can be duplicated at other centers it will be a long time until there is any practical use for this information. In the meantime, egg donation remains the only effective treatment for women with ovarian failure.