For the first time ever researchers have grown viable eggs in the lab

One of the key goals in developmental and reproductive biology has been achieved this week which could have incredible implications on both this planet and others. Life has been created in a Petri dish.

In a paper published just this week in Nature, Japanese researchers have been able to grow mouse eggs entirely In vitro. Fibroblasts (skin cells which produce collagen) were reprogrammed to make eggs.

While it is true that cells have been reprogrammed to different types of cell in the past. Creating eggs is much more tricky. Eggs are the ultimate stem-cell, able to create all the bits necessary to an organism from raw genetic blueprints. They are far more flexible than stem cells.

This is very solid work and an important step in the field

– Developmental Biologist Diana laird

Continue reading For the first time ever researchers have grown viable eggs in the lab

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‘We are made of star stuff’ – #2 – The Big Bang

After recently becoming fascinated with astronomy, I thought I would expand on my original article – about the creation of atoms in the heart of dying stars – and make a mini blog series on astronomy. While it is my intention to write about all things space and physics that fascinate me, there is a LOT of ground to cover. It will therefore be a very brief and perhaps superficial look.

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Continue reading ‘We are made of star stuff’ – #2 – The Big Bang

‘We are made of star stuff’ – Carl Sagan

The fact that the elements that make up our bodies, our animals and our ‘apple trees’ were created in the interior furnaces of stars and then catapulted across the universe in violent stellar explosions was said with great poetic beauty by Carl Sagan in 1973. In his book: “The cosmic connection: an extraterrestrial perspective” he said:-

‘Our sun is a second- or third-generation star. All of the rocky and metallic material we stand on, the iron in our blood, the calcium in our teeth, the carbon in our genes were produced billions of years ago in the interior of a red giant star. We are made of star-stuff’

Continue reading ‘We are made of star stuff’ – Carl Sagan