There have been a bunch of recent developments in the field of “growing new human organs,” but this one’s pretty impressive. Scientists at Brown University, led by Professor Sandra Carson, have succeeded in creating the first artificial human ovary, which they hope will be able to grow and develop immature eggs.
Why’s that important? Well, chemotherapy on cancer treatments typically destroy a female patient’s eggs, leaving them infertile. (They typically have to have their eggs frozen to preserve them for later in vitro fertilization.) The developers hope that these new ovaries will allow a woman’s eggs to survive outside of her indefinitely, to be used later after treatment.
The ovaries were made using the 3-D Petri Dish method, developed by Jeffrey Morgan, which instructs cells to grow in a specific 3D shape that can be combined with other shapes to construct “microtissues.” The Scientists used three different types of cells (theca cells, granulosa cells, and egg cells) in the structure, which closed around the egg cells and allowed them to mature. You can make your own “eggs over easy” joke whenever you want.