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petri dish in IVF process

Scientists are a step closer to making IVF eggs from patients’ skin cells after adapting the procedure that created Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal, more than two decades ago.

The work raises the prospect of older women being able to have children who share their DNA, and to overcome common forms of infertility caused by a woman’s eggs becoming damaged by disease or cancer treatment.

The radical procedure, which may take a decade to perfect and approve in humans, would also enable male couples to have genetically related children, since the men’s DNA could be combined in the fertilised egg and carried to term by a surrogate mother.

“Should this technology become clinically viable in the future, it holds the potential to revolutionise IVF and offer hope to many infertile patients who have lost gametes due to disease, ageing or cancer treatments,” said Aleksei Mikhalchenko, the first author on the study, at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, US. Gametes are sperm and egg cells.

Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a senior author on the study, said his lab had...