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Turning Back the Reproductive Clock

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Tuesday, September 01, 2009 | 0 comments

Stock photo by IngerM
Turning Back the Reproductive ClockScientific 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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Catherine

About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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