Japanese Scientists Race to Create Human Eggs and Sperm in the Lab

September 29, 2023

(NPR) – Hayashi, a developmental geneticist at Osaka University in Japan, is a pioneer in one of the most exciting — and controversial — fields of biomedical research: in vitro gametogenesis, or IVG. The goal of IVG is to make unlimited supplies of what Hayashi calls “artificial” eggs and sperm from any cell in the human body. That could let anyone — older, infertile, single, gay, trans — have their own genetically related babies. Besides the technical challenges that remain to be overcome, there are deep ethical concerns about how IVG might eventually be used.

To provide a sense of how close IVG may be to becoming a reality, Hayashi and one of his colleagues in Japan recently agreed to let NPR visit their labs to talk about their research. (Read More)