Researchers were able, for the first time, to grow early-stage human egg cells in the laboratory until they were fully mature. Other research in this area has had to rely on late-stage human egg cells. This study opens the door for enabling women who cannot grow their own egg cells in this way to be able to use in vitro fertilization.
The egg cells cultured in this study appeared to be more or less normal, but there were some unusual features, such as a faster development than eggs that mature inside the body. Additional work will be required before this research can be applied in the clinic, but it shows that more may be possible in the future for some women who are unable to have children.