7/27/13

Saturday 27 July 2013

Scientists rewrite rules of human reproduction - Health News - Health & Families - The Independent
i Jobs Dating Property Shop

NEWS
Fashion

VOICES

SPORT

TECH

LIFE

PROPERTY
History

ARTS & ENTS
Motoring

TRAVEL
Dating

MONEY

INDYBEST
Gaming

BLOGS

STUDENT

OFFERS

Food & Drink

Health & Families

Gadgets & Tech

Crossw ords

Competitions

Life > Health & Families > Health New s

Search The Independent
Advanced Search Article archive Topics

Go

Exclusive

Scientists rewrite rules of human reproduction
Exclusive: Lab-grown egg cells could revolutionise fertility - and even banish menopause
ST EV E CONNOR SA T URDA Y 0 7 A PRIL 2 0 1 2

Most Com m ented

Most View ed

Most Shared

£25 to see your GP: Majority of doctors want to charge patients for routine appointments

548 comments | 1 hour ago
He's at it again: Prince Charles accused of lobbying Health Secretary over homeopathy

Shares: 4K
News in pictures The first human egg cells that hav e been grown entirely in the laboratory from stem cells could be fertilised later this y ear in a dev elopment that will rev olutionise fertility treatment and might ev en lead to a rev ersal of the menopause in older women. Scientists are about to request a licence from the UK fertility watchdog to fertilise the eggs as part of a series of tests to generate an unlimited supply of human eggs, a breakthrough that could help infertile women to hav e babies as well as making women as fertile in later life as men. Producing human eggs from stem cells would also open up the possibility of replenishing the ov aries of older women so that they do not suffer the age-related health problems associated with the menopause, from osteoporosis to heart disease. Some scientists are ev en suggesting the possibility of producing an “elix ir of y outh” for women, where the menopause is eradicated and older women will retain the health they enjoy ed when y ounger.

PRINT A A A

1 269 comments | 37 minutes ago
Why I can't live with Google Android - and why I want my iPhone back 222 comments | 1 hour ago Inside Google HQ: What does the future hold for the company whose visionary plans include implanting a chip in our brains? 482 comments | 2 day s ago Ramadan: Fasting for the body, food for the soul

Related articles The human egg: an extraordinary tale of scientific discovery Leading article: Glimpses of the future for female fertility Leading article: Glimpses of the future for female fertility IVF clinics accused of putting money before safety Sir Robert Edwards: Copioneer of the IVF technique whose work led to the first test-tube baby

1 248 comments | 2 hours ago
Petzval Kickstarter: Hipster photography reaches new heights with all-brass lens from 1840

Life & Style blogs

1 7 comments | 3 hours ago
Computer hacker Barnaby Jack found dead at San Francisco home 3 comments | 24 minutes ago

Y abu Pushelberg on Ian Schrager

Suggested Topics
Edinburgh, Scotland Biology Research Schools Higher Education

Operation live blog: The Independent’s James Moore live blogs his operation

Researchers at Edinburgh Univ ersity are working with a team from Harv ard Medical School in Boston to be the first in the world to produce mature human eggs from stem cells isolated from human ov arian tissue.

Health Pregnancy

Mellow yellow: Mark Hix cooks with rapeseed oil

Until now, it has only been possible to isolate a relativ ely small number of mature human egg cells directly from the ov aries of women who hav e been stimulated with hormones. This technical limitation has led to an acute shortage of human eggs, or “oocy cts”, for IV F treatment as well as scientific research. The scientists want to fertilise the laboratory -grown egg cells with human sperm to prov e that they are v iable. Any resulting embry os will be studied for up to 1 4 day s - the legal limit - to see if they are normal. These early embry os will not be transplanted into a woman's womb because they will be deemed ex perimental material, but will either be frozen or allowed to perish. Ev ely n Telfer, a reproductiv e biologist at Edinburgh Univ ersity , has already informally approached the Human Fertilisation and Embry ology Authority (HFEA) with a v iew to submitting a formal licence application within the nex t few weeks. “We hope to apply for a research license to do the fertilisation of the in v itro grown oocy tes within the IV F unit at the Edinburgh Roy al

Britannia Street, London, Greater London, WC1X 5 bed. £1153.85 PW Bedford Avenue, Bloomsbury, London, Greater London, WC1B 3 bed. £950 PW King Square, London, Greater London, EC1V 4 bed. £750 PW Huntley Street, e.g. 'Borough', 'SW10' SEARCH >> Bloomsbury, London, WC1E

Rise in number of new homes built in Ireland
Video Choices

www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/scientists-rewrite-rules-of-human-reproduction-7624708.html

1/9

7/27/13
70-year age gap wedding

Scientists rewrite rules of human reproduction - Health News - Health & Families - The Independent
Infirmary ,” Dr Telfer said. “Could the fertilisation take place this y ear? Y es, absolutely ,” she said. Professor Richard Anderson of the MRC Centre for Reproductiv e Health, who will be in charge of the clinical aspects of the work, said: “The aim will be to demonstrate that the eggs that we’v e generated in v itro are competent to form embry os and that’s the best test that an egg is an egg,”

Site Manager – Biomass
£30000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitment Company...

Spain train crash CCTV

Generating an unlimited supply of human eggs and the prospect of rev ersing the menopause was made possible by a series of breakthroughs led by Professor Jonathan Tilly of Harv ard. In 2004 he astounded the world of reproductiv e biology by suggesting that there were activ e stem cells in the ov aries of mice that seemed capable of replenishing eggs throughout life. For half a century , a dogma of reproductiv e biology was that women are born with their full complement of egg cells which they gradually lose through life until they run out when they reach the menopause. “This age-old belief that females are giv en a fix ed 'bank account' of eggs at birth is incorrect,” Professor Tilly said. “In fact ov aries in adulthood are probably more closely matched to testes in adulthood in their capacity to make new germ cells, which are the special cells that giv e rise to sperm and eggs,“ he said. ”Ov er the past 50 y ears, all the basic science, all the clinical work and all the clinical outcome was predicated on one simple belief, that is the oocy te pool, the early egg-cell pool in the ov aries was a fix ed entity , and once those eggs were used up they cannot be renewed, replenished or replaced,“ he added. Last month, Professor Tilly published pioneering research showing that these stem cells ex ist in human ov aries and that they could be stimulated in the laboratory to grow into immature egg cells. He is collaborating with Dr Telfer, who was once sceptical of his research, because in Edinburgh she has pioneered a technique for growing immature eggs cells to the fully ”ripened“ stage when they can be fertilised. ”It's been fun to work with her because she's been one of the most v ocal critics of this work y ears ago and it's great that she's come about and changed her v iews,“ Professor Tilly said. ”I think personally [fertilising the first eggs] is do-able. I see no hurdles why it cannot be done this y ear,“ he added. Dr Telfer added: “The important thing is that if y ou can show y ou can get ov arian stem cells from human ov ary y ou then hav e the potential to do more for fertility preserv ation. “We hav e all the local ethical approv al in place and we’re now looking at the process of the HFEA application. There is a push for us to do it now,” she added.

School Business Manager
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: School Business Manager needed. Man...

Y ear Six Teacher
£21000 - £36000 per annum: Randstad Education Crawley: We are currently recrui...

Newly Qualified Teacher
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: Randstad Education are recrui... View the latest from iJobs

11 Intelligence Killing Foods You Need To Avoid | Fitnea – Sta…
Fitnea

DAY IN A PAGE

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat 27 July 2013 Go

Troops disarm suicide bomber
by Taboola

Sleep problems? Scientists warn of possible early sign of Alzheimer's

MORE IN HEALTH NEWS » From around the web More from The Independent

5 designers who are crafting amazing things, and doing it differently (Lex u s) Why Old IT Isn't Good Enough Any more (Bu sin ess V a lu e Ex ch a n g e) iPhone 6 could feature Liquidmetal ex terior (u Sw it ch ) An Important Secret About The Competitiv e Health Club And Fitness Industry (Br y a n O'Rou r k e)

Gromit sculpture decorated by Joanna Lumley v andalised hours after going on display in Bristol (0 1
Ju ly 2 0 1 3 )

Lov elace trailer - Amanda Sey fried as notorious Deep Throat porn star Linda Lov elace (0 4 Ju ly 2 0 1 3 ) Heartthrob Robert Pattinson ‘dating’ Elv is Presley ’s granddaughter and Kristen Stewart lookalike Riley Keough (0 3 Ju ly
2 01 3 )

www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/scientists-rewrite-rules-of-human-reproduction-7624708.html

2/9

7/27/13

Scientists rewrite rules of human reproduction - Health News - Health & Families - The Independent
Top 5 Cancer Causes Hiding in Y our Home (In spiy r ) 9 Simple Way s to Look Y ounger
(Ma k eu p.com )

He's at it again: Prince Charles accused of lobby ing Health Secretary ov er homeopathy (2 1
Ju ly 2 0 1 3 )

Marriage between first cousins 'doubles risk of hav ing baby with life-threatening birth defects' (0 4
Ju ly 2 0 1 3 )

Pay Pal accidentally make user richest man in the world after crediting account with $92 quadrillion (Ev en in g St a n da r d)

Adult industry enraged as 'Porn Wikileaks' giv es stars' real names
(0 1 A pr il 2 0 1 1 )
Recommended by

Comments for this thread are now closed.

×

995 comments
Newest My Disqus Gues t

Share

0

a year ago

△ ▽

Truly, writers of the past were worried and warned us about the ugly wicked who will use this technology and violations of privacy that could happen through these things. They were right. Prophets and we didn't know they were back so far in history.
Share ›

Jaiy s un4

a year ago

Biotechnology is going to revolutionise the world, our lives and our capabilities. What caring and free peoples need to do is ensure that the coming revolutions are geared towards the reduction and elimination of suffering. Regarding religious arguments, I can only see them becoming even more marginalised as human progress continues.
2

△ ▽

Share ›

Gues t

> Jaiysun4

a year ago

△ ▽
Liminal

Get real. How you gonna wipe out corruption from man? Y ou CAN'T. Do you think these guys are gods that could do such a thing? Y ou're no different than the atheists back in Jesus' day. Right and wrong is the REAL religion and if you don't like morals you work for satan whether you acknowledge him or not.
Share ›

a year ago

I'm no scientist and I don't have kids, but even I know the risks of down syndrome, ectopic pregnancy and so on increase with age. Y ou're seriously telling me that replenishing the eggs is going to address all the biological complexities of those risks, and sort out osteoporosis and heart disease too?? This is just another pie-in-the-sky article pandering to the have-my-cake-and-eat-it careerists who read this paper.
1

△ ▽

Share ›

Gues t

> Liminal

a year ago

www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/scientists-rewrite-rules-of-human-reproduction-7624708.html

△ ▽

So true. Too many men get so arrogant they have no morals, no respect, and want to be only seen and worshiped by the public as a 'god' themselves. So repulsive. Guys like J remind me of some of the bloodiest horror and murder movies I've seen....
Share ›

3/9

7/27/13

Scientists rewrite rules of human reproduction - Health News - Health & Families - The Independent
Share › P t olemy
a year ago

△ ▽

Drudge Report news flash: SHOCK -- 70 year old woman gives birth to quadruplets!
1

△ ▽

Share ›

violet 0117

a year ago

Well since Genetically Modified Organsisms(GMO) cause sterility, it only makes 'sense' that scientists would create drugs to counter sterility rather than call for a ban on GMO and/or warn people to stop eating it.
1

△ ▽

Share ›

Milena Mandova

a year ago

△ ▽
David Hill

Wow!

Share ›

a year ago

So, on a planet with over 7 billion resource consuming, waste producing humans what we really need is a way to increase that number. Amazing. As Einstein said, "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
18

△ ▽

Share ›

violet 0117

> David Hill

a year ago

There are plenty of "resources." The problem is greed & hypocrisy by elites like Al Gore & Prince Charles that tell me not to fly. Meanwhile they travel on private jets and live in mansions that waste more energy in a month than most people consume in a year.
3

△ ▽

Share ›

V ovix LDR

> David Hill

a year ago

Y es, exactly. The matter is, people are not mere animals. People are a bit more rational and can plan for their future. If a woman knows she'll be able to postpone birth for tomorrow, she won't hurry today, and the result will be really fewer births in short term — exactly what you wanted:). Moreover, this will further level up career and other opportunities between genders, so the society will also improve in terms of quality, and this will result in more healthy, conscious and planned families, again, with secondary effects on their size and birthrates per time. So in fact, this is really wonderful milestone for humanity in improving total quality of life, just because it will ultimately free billions of years of productive time of women that are taken today by motherhood that could not (until today) be postponed as fatherhood for men, and will make us more equal.
7 LH

△ ▽

Share ›

a year ago

△ ▽

This is truly a science blessing from God. Thank you God. Why is everyone all scared every time something new is discovered or a breakthrough in science is made? don't jump off a cliff just yet!
Share › Mat t Luk e Holl

> LH

a year ago

www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/scientists-rewrite-rules-of-human-reproduction-7624708.html

4/9

7/27/13

Scientists rewrite rules of human reproduction - Health News - Health & Families - The Independent

△ ▽

Will you religious types ever stop trying to take over absolutely everything and praising "god" for it. In this case though, your god can keep it - Why do we need more people on this planet for the selfishness of few?
Share ›

violet 0117

> LH

a year ago

Certainly won't be a "blessing" to the millions of kids in foster care or orphanages that would've otherwise been adopted by infertile couples.
2 P lant iful

△ ▽

Share ›

a year ago

and why would we want babies being born to 70-year old mothers again?
13

△ ▽

Share ›

B ilos opher

a year ago

GOOD GRIEF!! When the radical christians and the republican party finds out about this, there will be outrage in the US. It could lead to war with the Brits!! hehehe
2

△ ▽

Share ›

David Morais

a year ago

So, they are going to create a unique human being who has never existed since the beginning of time. They they will either freeze it or destroy it (within, of course, the 14 day limit, so as to play within the rules, I guess). How exciting! Well, except for that newly created 14 day old person, I guess... How have we become so calloused about protecting the lives of other human beings? And if we don't speak up for others, who will speak up when they come for us in the name of "medical progress"? Just because we can do this, does not mean we should. It is troubling, what could come of this technology in the hands of the truly unethical.
14

△ ▽

Share ›

V ovix LDR

> David Morais

a year ago

This "unique human being" at 14 days is just a bag of cells with no brain. It can't feel anything. Even a cockroach is more "conscious" than this "unique human being". To become a real human being or at least a creature who can feel pain, it needs to grow much more, inside a real adult thinking and feeling human being who has her own rights, freedoms and interests. Go better fight for 20-week fetuses, prolifer.
6

△ ▽

Share ›

violet 0117

> VovixLDR

a year ago

Who told you "it" can't feel anything? That 14 day old fetus is a "human" at conception. Biological Evolution BEGAN from single celled organisms; no brains, yet look what we evolved from. Spare me your moral relativism, pro-deather.
4

△ ▽

Share ›

Robert S nowdale

a year ago

Don't tell people in the US about this. They'll totally freak, and start trying to pass laws declaring that a stem cell is a human being
12

www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/scientists-rewrite-rules-of-human-reproduction-7624708.html

△ ▽

Share ›

5/9

7/27/13

Scientists rewrite rules of human reproduction - Health News - Health & Families - The Independent
12

△ ▽

Share ›

c hez e

a year ago

7 billion people and growing, there are enough unwanted children as it is, the human breeding epidemic at the expense of all other living creatures needs to stop!
22

△ ▽

Share ›

Tris ha

a year ago

Are you insane???? Do you really think us older women WANT babies or the recurrance of the monthly cycle????
23

△ ▽

Share ›

pris t ines enis

a year ago

So you're saying that women should be forced to suffer from osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and other painful and downright deadly side-effects of menopause just because they might also be able to have children after a time you - neither God nor scientist - deem is appropriate..? Thanks for the vote of confidence... I'm glad you're not my doctor. Maybe you and all of the ignoramuses arguing about how it's "not natural" for women to have babies after the age of menopause need to actually read the article and look at the other, multiple health benefits such scientific advancements can have for women everywhere.
10

△ ▽

Share ›

Mat t Luk e Holl

> pristinesenis

a year ago

△ ▽

Except they don't know if that's the effect it can have...having an artifically grown life won't effect your levels of hormones....
Share ›

A lan Carr

> pristinesenis

a year ago

I'd be more impressed if they were looking for ways to close the life-gap between men and women. Are any scientists doing that?
3 c olowww

△ ▽

Share ›

a year ago

Why don't they spend this much effort coming up with better birth control options, and making birth control more available? In the big picture we need less fertility not more, because the world is way overpopulated now, and unintended pregnancies are a much bigger problem than infertility. However, hopefully this will benefit some women with early menopause problems.
22

△ ▽

Share ›

V ovix LDR

> colowww

a year ago

Exactly vice versa. To bring birthrates down we do need MORE fertility in time, not less — because being able to postpone it for tomorrow means less people will do it today.
3 Cy P hy 9

△ ▽

Share ›

a year ago

"Oocytes," not "oocycts."

△ ▽

Share ›
a year ago

Robert

We think God doesn't know what he's doing and things need to be tweaked. When you start tweaking unforseen things come to the fore and usually not good ones. Man needs to stay out of Gods buisness when it comes to reproduction in all area's. www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/scientists-rewrite-rules-of-human-reproduction-7624708.html

6/9

7/27/13

Scientists rewrite rules of human reproduction - Health News - Health & Families - The Independent reproduction in all area's.
11

△ ▽

Share ›

ivanilic h

> Robert

a year ago

Y ou did not get the memo: there is no God. If there were, He would destroy these scientists who as you say are tweaking his creations.
4

△ ▽

Share ›

Lines Flight

> ivanilich

a year ago

Another way to put would be that God is enabling such entities (I don't know what else to name them at the moment) to be created in a lab because they are the true inheritors of the planet. Just think of the current crop of scientists working on this technology (what else is it?) in God's gulag.
1 S t eve DeGraff

△ ▽

Share ›

a year ago

I think this is a wonder of a break through. Will the church condem it a are and say we are playing god. I mean they have their hands in every womens uteris.
4

△ ▽

Share ›

lou7

> Steve DeGraff

a year ago

The church are preaching to their faithful, not you. They do not have their hands in every womans uteris. Men do. Teens kill their babies and it is murder, Drs. kill babies and it is abortion. Only men could make such a stupid rule.
9

△ ▽

Share ›

A nnOnaMic e

a year ago

This is good news? "women as fertile in later life as men."? Who's going to take care of the babies? Why do women NEED to be fertile when they're old? Maybe they need to work on babies being born with teeth, or lactating breasts, so they can feed themselves, or maybe even gills, so they can live in water? Not much more stupid than fertile grandmas, if you think about it....
18

△ ▽

Share ›

Jes s ic a L

> AnnOnaMice

a year ago

Also, the point here is not to have babies but to preserve the health of the woman. When women hit menapause most develop all sorts of problems in correlation with it and the aging process speeds up which can be traumatic.
6

△ ▽

Share ›

S t eve DeGraff

> AnnOnaMice

a year ago

THERE ARE MANY WOMEN THAT THRU NO CHOICE OF THEIRS THAT GO INTO EARLY MENAPAUSE. THEY ARE IN THEIR 30'S & 40'S AND WANT KIDS.
12

△ ▽

Share ›

Mat t Luk e Holl

> Steve DeGraff

a year ago

AND IF Y OU PUT IT IN CAPITALS EVERY ONE WILL THINK Y OU'RE AN IDIOT. Also, "thru" is spelt "through". We all understand this, but for the sake of these unfortunate few you want this research to go ahead that would probably end up www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/scientists-rewrite-rules-of-human-reproduction-7624708.html

7/9

7/27/13

Scientists rewrite rules of human reproduction - Health News - Health & Families - The Independent

△ ▽
V al B rook er

to go ahead that would probably end up stretching our resources just that little bit too far? Good plan boss.
Share ›

a year ago

They make the menopause sound like a disease. Natural cycles are not what the problem is. It's treated like a taboo subject so most women go into it totally unprepared is the problem, especially older women who don't go online. They go to their GP's and are treated like neurotic attention seekers.
11

△ ▽

Share ›

molly c ruz

a year ago

Now this strikes me as an idea that oversteps the boundaries that objections to the stem cell experimentation were afraid of transgressing. Growing organs in vitro seems an elegant solution to organ transplant shortages; growing people, not so much!
11

△ ▽

Share ›

S c rit t i P olit t i

> mollycruz

a year ago

They're not "growing people", you moron. Stop grasping for something to complain about. This is no different from any other fertility treatment.
4

△ ▽

Share ›

A binic o W arez 5

a year ago

Gods playmate is Satan.

△ ▽

Share ›

S c rit t i P olit t i

> Abinico Warez

a year ago

Zeus's playmate is Hera. Y our point?
11

△ ▽

Share ›

Rus s TNail

> Scritti Politti

a year ago

Satan- anagram- Santa. Anyway God created and can destroy Satan so why would a benevolent God not do so?
Share › Gues t

△ ▽

> RussTNail

a year ago

△ ▽
V alJ 16

To give you Constitutional rights of choice. And to show His power. Otherwise you would be a flesh and blood robot.
Share ›

a year ago

Just because we can doesn't mean we should.

△ ▽ △ ▽

Share ›

foodandart

a year ago

Goodness.. as IF there aren't already enough mouths to feed on earth?
13 Share ›

S hawn B ondele 9

a year ago

We need to quit playing God!

△ ▽

Share ›

D_W ilk ins

> Shawn Bondele

a year ago

We need to get good at playing God. The alternative is playing ostrich, it seems. www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/scientists-rewrite-rules-of-human-reproduction-7624708.html

8/9

7/27/13

Scientists rewrite rules of human reproduction - Health News - Health & Families - The Independent

is playing ostrich, it seems.
3

△ ▽

Share ›

B E A RMA IL

> Shawn Bondele

a year ago

Capital G - Christian god, right? The one who created humanity in His image, when the only thing He'd done was create? Why should we stop playing God when it seems like that's what He created us to do? ;)
4

△ ▽

Share ›

TB J

> Shawn Bondele

a year ago

We started playing god when we invented him. Jeez get over it already you're wasting a lot of precious time.
10

△ ▽

Share ›

Load more comments

ALSO ON LIFE & STYLE

What's this?

Ramadan: Fasting for the body, food for the soul
1248 comments • 19 days ago

Low nursing staff levels to blame for high hospital …
271 comments • 11 days ago

vinegarjoe — "Four decades

Mark et 17 — Crikey, not

on, Ramadan is marked far more openly in Britain" …

enough staff to look after patients causes mistakes …

Inside Google HQ: What does the future hold for …
482 comments • 8 days ago

He's at it again: Prince Charles accused of …
1269 comments • 7 days ago

blueangel69 — I come

S horne — The most succinct

across enough of the technogeeks in my day to …

summing up of homeopathy I ever heard (can't …

r

C o m m e n t fe e d

Studio 54's Ian Schrager: 'You can't fool the public'
Schrager used design

Welcome to Spaceport Sweden
The space centre in

David Baddiel returns to standup comedy
He swapped the fame of

Mellow yellow: Mark Hix cooks with rapeseed oil
Rapeseed oil is being

Rock stars: Earthy, sumptuous mussels
Mussels are as cheap

The Independent 2 Derry Street London W8 5TT © independent.co.uk

Terms & Policies Priv acy Policy Cookie policy Code of Conduct Complaint f orm Email newsletters RSS

Contact Us Subscriptions Apps Work f or us Ev ening Standard Homes & Property iJobs

Adv ertising Guide Sy ndication Nov ay a Gazeta (English) ES Business Connections ES Rentals

Search The Independent
Adv anced Search Article archiv e Topics

Go

© independent.co.uk

www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/scientists-rewrite-rules-of-human-reproduction-7624708.html

9/9

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful