Japanese scientists just took a new step toward a “game changing” way to make babies from skin cells.
The news: The Japanese team reports in the journal Science that they’re closer than ever. The team, led by Mitinori Saitou and colleagues from Kyoto University, turned skin collected from female volunteers into primitive precursors of egg cells.
They still don’t have eggs. But they’re closer. It’s just “a matter of time,” Eli Adashi of Brown University told the Washington Post.
Why it matters: There is a global scientific race to manufacture eggs and sperm in the lab, starting from an ordinary cell, like skin. In theory, lab-made reproductive cells could put an end to infertility for people including cancer patients and women in their 40s and 50s.
Want to learn more? Check out our 2017 feature “A new way to reproduce,” about the work in Japan and elsewhere.
These scientists used CRISPR to put an alligator gene into catfish
The resulting fish appear to be more resistant to disease and could improve commercial production—should they ever be approved.
Next up for CRISPR: Gene editing for the masses?
Last year, Verve Therapeutics started the first human trial of a CRISPR treatment that could benefit most people—a signal that gene editing may be ready to go mainstream.
CRISPR for high cholesterol: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023
New forms of the gene-editing tool could enable treatments for common diseases.
An ALS patient set a record for communicating via a brain implant: 62 words per minute
Brain interfaces could let paralyzed people speak at almost normal speeds.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.