News of the WeekSTEM CELLS

Oocytes Spontaneously Generated

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Science  02 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5620, pp. 721
DOI: 10.1126/science.300.5620.721a

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In a development that could alter the ethical landscape surrounding human embryonic stem (ES) cells, scientists have found that mouse ES cells can develop into oocytes in culture dishes (see report published online this week by Science). It is not yet clear whether the cells can be fertilized and develop into embryos. But if so, and if human ES cells turn out to have similar powers, such cells might allow researchers to get around some of the expense and ethical questions that arise from using donated eggs for therapeutic cloning experiments.