LONDON • Last year, researchers in Japan, led by Professor Katsuhiko Hayashi, used the technique known as in-vitro gametogenesis, or IVG, to create viable eggs from the skin cells of adult female mice, which then gave birth to healthy babies.
It was the first creation of eggs entirely outside a mouse, the Nature science journal reported. If the process could be replicated in humans, artificial eggs could be produced without the need to implant immature cells into ovaries to complete their development.
Prof Hayashi, a reproductive biologist at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, said the process is technically challenging but robust, and that different groups in his laboratory have reproduced it.
But he is not trying to make viable human eggs, as Japanese laws forbid the fertilisation of engineered human germ cells, even for research purposes.