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October 29, 2009

Genomics News
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» Scientists ‘five years’ from producing artificial sperm and eggs

The Times Online today reports that primitive human sperm and eggs and the germ cells that make them have been created from embryonic stem cells in an experiment that promises new treatments for infertility.

The achievement transforms scientists’ ability to study the development of the human reproductive system and has already helped to confirm the importance of several genes to egg and sperm (gamete) formation. It could eventually open new approaches to restoring or preserving fertility, such as gene therapies that stimulate gamete production in the testes or ovaries to allow natural conception.

The research, by a team at Stanford University in California, also advances the prospect of creating synthetic sperm and eggs in the laboratory to allow men and women who make none to have their own genetic children.

Posted on behalf of Shirley Jayasekara

July 21, 2009
» world's 1st tissue engineered transplant

The BBC reports that Surgeons in Spain, in collaboration with Bristol University, have carried out the world’s first tissue engineered whole organ transplant. The woman in question damaged her lungs after contracting TB. Medics were able to grow a left bronchi from her own stem cells (using a donor windpipe as a ‘framework’) and transplant the organ into the woman.

as the organ is made up of the woman’s own tissue it has not rejected and she does not require anti-rejection medication. what potentials do you think this holds for medicine? Already scientists are talking about the prospect of being able to grown human organs in the lab within the next 20 years.