Stock photo by IngerM
Scientific dogma has long asserted that females are born with their entire lifetime supply of eggs, and once they're gone, they're gone. New findings suggest that in nematode worms, at least, this is not necessarily so.
Molecular physiologist Marc Van Gilst, Ph.D., and colleagues at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle report that during starvation, sexually mature adult worms stop ovulating and the germline component of their reproductive system – the sex cells, including mature and maturing eggs – dies off and leaves behind nothing but a few stem cells.
However, once normal food conditions resume, the conserved stem cells can produce a brand new crop of sex cells, complete with youthful fertile eggs. This turning back of the reproductive clock took place in tiny C. elegans soil worms that were up to15 times older than worms in their reproductive prime that were fed normally.
Read more: http://www.ivanhoe.com/channels/p_channelstory.cfm?storyid=22233
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