In a study published in Nature Medicine, researchers report they have found a way to use ovarian stem cells to perhaps one day help infertile women get pregnant by using egg-producing stem cells in human ovaries.

At this stage, these “seed” eggs can’t be fertilized by sperm. The scientist are hoping to make some of those ovarian stem cells grow into immature eggs that may someday be useful for reproduction, which could help overturn a long-held scientific belief that women can’t make new eggs as they get older. One researcher explains to WebMD:
What we’ve previously believed is that you don’t get new eggs formed during your adult life. This discovery shows that there’s the potential for them to be formed, no question about that,” Telfer says, “but it doesn’t actually show that they’re being formed under normal conditions.”

“There are cells there that under certain conditions have the potential to form [eggs]. That’s the really exciting part of this work. And of course they can be used. There’s a practical application,” she says.