Unlimited human eggs? 妇女可有无数卵子吗?

James Gallagher, BBC News

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Image caption Stem cell can be used to create different types of tissue for human organs

媒體英語會帶大家一起學習 BBC 撰稿人在報道世界大事時常用到的單詞和短語。

美國的醫生們說將來有可能通過人工方式來製造無數的卵子來幫助不孕婦女。研究人員發現當他們從婦女的卵巢裏提取卵子幹細胞時,這些卵子會自動生成新的卵。以下是BBC衛生事務記者 James Gallagher的報道:

A long-held theory is that women are born with all the eggs they will ever have. Researchers say they have shattered that idea by finding the stem cells which produce new eggs. Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital used unique proteins on the surface of stem cells to fish them out of ovarian tissue.

The study, in Nature Medicine, showed that growing these cells in the laboratory resulted in new eggs being produced spontaneously. Legal and ethical rules limit research on human eggs, but the same techniques repeated on mice showed the eggs could be fertilised and produce embryos.

The findings are a long way from being used in fertility clinics but the researchers said the cells had unprecedented potential to overcome infertility. British experts said the study rewrote the rule book and opened up exciting new possibilities for women.