The study, by researchers at institutions including the University of Gothenburg and Karolinska Institute in Sweden, casts doubt on an old theory that it is possible to create new eggs with the help of stem cells.

"Ever since 2004, the studies on stem cell research and infertility have been surrounded by hype," Kui Liu, a researcher at the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg as stating in the study.

"There has been a great amount of media interest in this, and the message has been that the treatment of infertility with stem cells is about to happen. However, many researchers, including my research group, have tried to replicate these studies and not succeeded."

According to the old theory that the Swedish researchers are questioning, infertile women, such as those who have entered menopause, could be given new eggs.

However, staff at Liu's laboratory carried out experiments on mice that showed that the only eggs female mice have are the ones they have had since birth.

"This shows not only that the use of stem cell research in the clinical treatment of childlessness is unrealistic but also that clinics should focus on using the eggs that women have had since birth in treating infertility," says Professor Liu.

These new research studies have been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

 

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