Scientists have discovered a new protein that appears to aid sperm in forming eggs. The protein was named Maia after Maia, the Greek goddess who is motherhood. It could help doctors understand some aspects about infertility.
More than half of those who are unable or unwilling to conceive naturally have infertility.
An international team of researchers led the University of Sheffield created artificial eggs by using thousands of beads in the first ever study of its kind. Each of these beads contained a different type of protein. Sperm bound with beads coated with Maia
The gene that corresponds to Maia was then introduced into human culture cells. These cells became receptive for sperm in the exact same way. Prof Harry Moore, principal investigator the study, predicted the development would “pave the way for novel ways to treat infertility”.
Image: Mohamed Hassan