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Home Industry News New method allows embryos to be created without eggs

New method allows embryos to be created without eggs

14th September 2016

A revolutionary process for creating viable embryos without the use of eggs has been developed by scientists.

Researchers from the University of Bath have engineered a method of injecting mouse parthenogenotes with sperm that allows them to grow into healthy baby mice, with a success rate of up to 24 percent.

Past research has shown that eggs can be induced to develop into embryos without fertilisation, but the resulting embryos – called parthenogenotes – die after a few days when key developmental processes requiring input from sperm do not occur.

This new method gets around this problem, with mice born as a result of the technique seeming to be completely healthy, even though their DNA started out with different epigenetic marks compared with normal fertilisation.

Dr Tony Perry, a molecular embryologist and senior author of the study, said: "Our work challenges the dogma, held since early embryologists first observed mammalian eggs around 1827 and observed fertilisation 50 years later, that only an egg cell fertilised with a sperm cell can result in a live mammalian birth."

The team believe this technique could have future applications in human fertility treatment, as well as for breeding endangered species.

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