First fully-formed human eggs produced in laboratory, scientists say


…As Man, 70, docked for allegedly receiving 23 stolen sheep***

Scientists in Scotland have produced the first fully-developed human eggs grown in a laboratory, saying the breakthrough could lead to improved fertility treatments.

The scientists at the University of Edinburgh said on Friday they had cultured egg cells, after their removal from ovarian tissue at the earliest stage of development, “to the point at which they are ready to be fertilized.”

“The advance could safeguard the fertility of girls with cancer ahead of potentially harmful medical treatment, such as chemotherapy,’’ they said, following a joint study with other experts published in the academic journal Molecular Human Reproduction.

The scientists said it could also allow immature eggs taken from patients’ ovarian tissue to be matured in the laboratory and stored for later fertilisation.

Evelyn Telfer, a professor in the university’s school of biological sciences, said being able to fully develop human eggs in the lab could widen the scope of available fertility treatments.

“We are now working on optimizing the conditions that support egg development in this way and studying how healthy they are.

“We also hope to find out, subject to regulatory approval, whether they can be fertilized,’’ Telfer said.

Meanwhile, a 70-year-old man, Garba Bawa, was on Friday arraigned in a Sokoto Magistrates’ Court for allegedly receiving 23 sheep valued at N252, 000, suspected to be stolen.

Bawa who lives in Minanata area of Sokoto, is facing a three-count charge of criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen sheep.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The prosecutor, Sgt. Khalid Musa, told the court that the offences were committed sometime in January in Kurfi village, Sokoto.

Musa told the court that the sheep was stolen from the house of the complainant, Umar Mohammed in Kurfi village in Sokoto South Local Government area.

He said that Mohammed checked for the missing sheep and allegedly found them in the accused home.

He said that the complainant immediately reported to the police in Kurfi village and the accused was arrested.

Musa told the court that the offences contravened Sections 97, 287 and 317 of the Penal Code.

The Chief Magistrate, Abubakar Adamu, admitted Garba to bail in the sum of N50, 000 with one surety in like sum.

Adamu said the surety must reside within the court’s jurisdiction and fixed Feb. 15 for further hearing.