Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists take a step nearer to creating an artificial egg using a somatic cell

01.07.2003


Madrid, Spain: Scientists believe that they are an important step nearer to success in creating an artificial egg from the combination of the nucleus of a somatic cell and an oocyte which has had its DNA-carrying nucleus removed, a conference of international fertility experts heard today (Tuesday 1 July).



Dr Peter Nagy, from Reproductive Biology Associates, Atlanta, collaborating with the University of Connecticut, USA, told the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual conference that former approaches to haploidisation[1] using a fully mature oocyte and a resting (interphase) somatic cell had caused misaligned chromosomes during cell division. However, he was confident from his team’s latest experiments that this difficulty could be overcome, even though their new approach also ran into some problems.

"We decided to initiate haploidisation at an earlier stage in the oocyte’s cell cycle, when it was still immature, but this time using a somatic cell in its active (metaphase or G2/M) stage. Essentially, we took the control of the first nuclear division away from the oocyte and gave it to the somatic cell," he said.


The US-Brazilian research team[2] , working with mouse cells, removed the nucleus of the immature oocyte, then transformed the somatic cell from its diploid (46 chromosome or 2n) stage to its next (4n) stage and transferred it to the immature enucleated oocyte (ooplast).

"What we expected by doing this was that the DNA in the somatic cell would condense into chromosomes inside the somatic cell – not in the ooplast – and that the somatic cell would direct the chromosome alignment and initial spindle formation, which would then be normal. The nucleus of the somatic cell, at its second stage of division and correctly assembled, would then undergo chromosome segregation in the ooplast, resulting in twice its diploid nuclear content during in-vitro maturation. As a result of an artificial activation, a second round of chromosome segregation provides the haploid (23 chromosome) normal oocyte content. This is a novel strategy that cannot be used with a mature ooplast because mature ooplasts can support only one round of chromosome segregation."

However, the researchers found that there were still some misaligned chromosomes and problems with the integrity of the spindle – the chromosomes’ ’holding’ mechanism. But, they are confident that these will be overcome.

"This initial set of experiments shows that it is possible to induce haploidisation with our approach," said Dr Nagy. "This is the first time that this has been tried so we are still learning. Now we have to check how frequently the chromosomal problems occur and whether there is an easy solution or whether it is a fundamental difficulty."

But, even in a worst case scenario, he said, it does not mean that they were back to the drawing board because his team was already developing new techniques to overcome the problem.

"I’m really confident – not simply optimistic – that haploidisation will work and if everything goes well we will be able to obtain artificial gametes in one or two years. Even if we encounter more problems it should still be possible within three to five years."

Haploidisation is not cloning because it is the production of a reconstituted egg (which can then be fertilised by the sperm) in a situation where a woman has no eggs of her own. One of the woman’s own somatic cells would be the source of the chromosome-carrying nucleus, which would be transferred into a donated ’shelled-out’ oocyte.


Note
[1] Haploid: a cell with only one set of chromosomes – in humans 23. Only the egg and sperm are haploid.
[2] University of Connecticut, Animal Science, Storrs, USA; Reproductive Biology Associates, Atlanta, USA; Clinical e Centro de Pesquisa em Reprodução Humana Roger Abdelmassih, São Paulo, Brazil.

Further information:
Emma Mason, information officer
Tel: 44-0-1376-563090
Fax: 44-0-1376-563272
Mobile: 44-0-7711-296986
Email: wordmason@aol.com

Press Office: (Sunday 29 June -Wednesday 2 July)
Margaret Willson, Emma Mason, Maria Maneiro, Janet Blümli
Tel: 34-917-220-501 or 34-917-220-502
Fax: 34-917-220-503

Margaret Willson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.eshre.com/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs
18.04.2019 | University of Hawaii at Manoa

nachricht New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection
18.04.2019 | Polytechnique Montréal

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>