Although the implications for human eggs are not yet clear, the findings are of interest because of the ethical and practical concerns surrounding the need for fresh human oocytes for similar nuclear-transfer procedures using human cells. The findings, reported by Teruhiko Wakayama, Sayaka Wakayama, and colleagues at RIKEN Kobe in Japan, appear in the February 20th issue of the journal Current Biology, published by Cell Press.
Human IVF is now routinely practiced in fertility clinics, but a proportion of oocytes fail to become fertilized in these procedures. In the new work, researchers examined the ability of day-old mouse oocytes that fail to become fertilized in vitro—"aged, fertilization-failure" (or AFF) oocytes—to succeed in a standard cloning procedure in which the oocyte's nucleus is removed and replaced by the nucleus of a somatic cell. Although this nuclear-transfer procedure showed a lower rate of success in the very first stages of cloning compared to nuclear transfer with fresh oocytes, the early (morulae- or blastocyst-stage) mouse embryos derived from nuclear transfer using AFF oocytes showed similar rates of success in giving rise to embryonic stem cell lines.
None of the AFF-derived mouse embryos tested were capable of developing to full term, and in general, cloning by nuclear transfer sees a low success rate even when fresh eggs are used. But the authors indicate that nuclear-transfer protocols have yet to be perfected, and that the new findings suggest that once techniques required for human nuclear transfer have been optimized, it may be possible to use oocytes that failed to fertilize during IVF attempts and would otherwise be discarded.
Erin Doonan | EurekAlert!
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The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
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Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
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Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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