Chicago: US researchers have found a way to coax human embryonic stem cells to turn into the types of cells that make eggs and sperm, shedding light on a stage of early human development that has not been fully understood.
The other two genes, DAZ and BOULE, played a role in getting cells to cut the number of chromosomes in half, a process called meiosis that must take place before fertilization.Some of the sperm cells went all the way through meiosis. "It means we really did hit the nail on the head. We got where we wanted to go if we see meiosis in the dish," Pera said.She said these cells formed a round spermatid, an immature sperm cell that contains just one copy of the chromosomes that would be suitable for use in an in vitro fertilization clinic.Producing too few germ cells or poor quality germ cells is a major cause of infertility in humans. "We think if there`s immature germ cells that are available in a person, we might be able to use this system to mature them and push them forward into development," she said. Pera hopes to try the same approach with so-called induced pluripotent stem cells, which are adult cells that have been reprogrammed to behave like embryonic stem cells. The idea is to take cells from people with infertility problems, produce germ cells and study them to see what caused the infertility. The study was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. Bureau Report
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