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[翻译字幕]Health Report - A Way to Make New Eggs in Women?

来源:慢速英语   时间:2012-02-29 09:14:47

健康报道 - 产生新卵子的新途径

This is the VOA Special English Health Report.


New research could raise hope for women who are having trouble getting pregnant.


For years, the thinking has been that women are born with all the eggs their bodies will ever produce. In fact, this has been the thinking not just about humans but all mammals.


Then, in two thousand four, a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital reported a surprising discovery. Jonathan Tilly found that adult female mice could produce new eggs.

然后,在2004年,马萨诸塞州总医院研究人员乔纳森·泰利(Jonathan Tilly)报告了一个惊奇的发现。蒂莉发现,成年雌鼠可以产生新的卵子。

Now, Jonathan Tilly has extended his work and reported another discovery -- this time about human females.


JONATHAN TILLY: "We've isolated, essentially, the female equivalent of the stem cells that we know exist in men that actively make new sperm. So having these cells now isolated, I think, opens up a lot of opportunities to consider that we simply couldn't fathom before."


Stem cells are special kinds of cells. Starting in embryos just a few days old, they produce the many different cell types and tissues that form the body. In some adult tissues, stem cells produce replacements for damaged or worn out cells.


A woman holds her stomach at the last stages of her pregnancy.

In his new study, Jonathan Tilly and other researchers removed cells from ovaries. Ovaries are the female reproductive organs that produce eggs. The scientists did laboratory tests to make sure they had the right cells that they were looking for. Then they used what are known as culturing methods to grow the cells so they would divide and produce more cells.


JONATHAN TILLY: "And we could start with perhaps one hundred cells, and over several months' time take those one hundred cells and make hundreds of thousands of cells. And interestingly, we noticed that these cells would spontaneously generate immature eggs, all on their own, in these cultures."


The researchers did not stop there. They wanted to further confirm the ability of these cells to make eggs. They placed some of the cells into human ovary tissue. Then they implanted the tissue under the skin of laboratory mice.


The studies found that these human cells were -- in Jonathan Tilly's words -- "more than happy to create brand-new human egg cells." He says growing eggs in the lab could improve the chances for women who are having the process known as in vitro fertilization. With IVF, an egg is fertilized with sperm in a laboratory, then placed in the woman's uterus to develop.

研究发现,这些人体细胞--用泰利的话来说就是--“更乐意创造全新的人类卵细胞。” 他说,在实验室中培养卵子可以提高正在进行体外受精(即常说的试管婴儿)的女性的(受孕)机会。通过体外受精,卵子在实验室中受精,然后放入女性子宫中生长。

Jonathan Tilly says his work could also lead to fertility treatments that might improve the chances for more traditional fertilization methods.


JONATHAN TILLY: "We can also think about, perhaps, targeting these cells in the ovaries with hormones that these cells like, and thereby increasing their activity and perhaps increasing the size of the egg cell reserve in the ovary, when it would be desirable to do so."


His paper on making new human eggs from stem cells was published online this week by the journal Nature Medicine. Some experts raised questions about his earlier work with mice. Some are not so sure about this study either, until other researchers can reproduce the findings.


And that's the VOA Special English Health Report. I'm Jim Tedder.

Contributing: Art Chimes