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Can we rescue parts of our bodies which are damaged or not functioning properly? In an evening that focuses on cutting-edge research involving human eggs and stem cells, we will hear from scientists who are investigating how to cure disorders such as infertility, neurodegeneration and heart disease by giving cells a new lease of life.
Endless eggs: is female fertility finite?
Dr. Andrew Childs (Lecturer in Comparitive Biomedical Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College)
Received wisdom says that women are born with all of the eggs they’ll ever have, and that no new ones are made after birth. When the supply of eggs runs low, the menopause occurs, putting a seemingly finite limit on female fertile lifespan. But is there really a limit to reproductive capacity in women? In this talk, we’ll look at how the initial stock of eggs are made in the developing ovary, and consider controversial work suggesting the supply of eggs may not be as fixed as first thought.
Building a Stem Cell Hotel
Development and maintenance of tissues are classic playgrounds for stem cells. These cells can make copies of themselves or embark into journeys to specialise in one function such as carrying oxygen in the blood or contract in muscles. Understanding what regulates these choices leads us to model diseases and develop therapeutics. We are building a dedicated collaborative space where scientists from different paths can use instruments to obtain beautiful microscopic images, find out in details what their favourite stem cells are up to and translate this into novel approaches for medicine.