Scientists Can Now Create Human Eggs From Stem Cells. The Rubicon Is Being Crossed.

Oh lord, we’re tampering with the Seals of the Cosmos. Exceeding our limits. 7-Eleven? Dubstep? Both tempt the Lords of Kobol to smite us. However if those haven’t incurred a Wrath in the Year of the Mayan Oblivion, this may finally do us in. We can now create human eggs from stem cells.

I Heart Chaos:

The way it’s worked since time began is that women get a certain number of eggs in their life, each one dripping away every month like sand through an hourglass until they’re done and that’s menopause. But now, scientists have discovered ovarian tissue that contains stem cells that can be used to create more human eggs.

Now your biological clock can just keep going forever.

The new study comes on the heels of a number of recent animal fertility studies that suggest that adult mice produce the same kind of stem cells that can produce healthy eggs and healthy offspring. Using equipment that can identify a specific protein found on the surfaces of reproductive cells (both male and female), scientists isolated them in the lab. They then showed that the mice cells wold generate viable eggs, capable of producing healthy embryos.

But it was unclear if the same technique would work with humans. To find out, a team of researchers obtained reproductive stem cells donated by Japanese women undergoing gender reassignment because of gender identity disorder. From these stem cells, the team was able to generate immature egg cells that showed the properties of human eggs. The researchers then placed the stem cells into human ovarian tissue and placed that into mice. Within a couple of weeks, these cells generated the proper ovarian structures for producing eggs, as well as egg cells that appear healthy and ready for fertilization.

Of course, there’s no telling yet whether that’s really the case. In the U.S., researchers aren’t allowed to fertilize human eggs in the lab just to see what happens, and there’s no guarantee that a lab-grown cell wouldn’t develop some kind of abnormality (actually, this happens a lot). Initial use of the technique would be to create eggs for research use in the lab (sans fertilization of course). But fertility treatments, while on the distant horizon, aren’t out of the question at some point in the future.

Just unreal, man. The future is happening all around us, and we’re too busy dancing and pounding Big Gulps to notice. Well, most of us. Glom onto the Spaceship Omega and I shall show you the world.