Best of the New 2010: People & Ideas
As survival rates have increased for young cancer patients, so has hope for preserving their fertility, which can be damaged by drugs and radiation. Doctors can remove eggs from girls today, but those eggs need to be coaxed to maturity before they can be used. Researchers at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School have used tissue-engineering techniques to create a honeycomb structure of cells (an “artificial ovary”) that successfully brought an egg to maturity outside the body. The research is preliminary, but one day such a solution may help girls and young women grapple with cancer without worrying about giving up the chance to have their own biological children.