Monday, October 16, 2006

Scientists Now Envision Life Without Menopause

No need to stockpile Tampax and O.B.'s in anticipation of a great increase in tampon demand.

But the prospect has arisen -- well, more like the hint of a promise of a prospect -- that perhaps, some distant day, scientists will be able to delay the onset of menopause until well into a woman's old age.

For they have recently done much like it in mice. Researchers based at Massachusetts General Hospital's Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology here genetically altered mice to remove a gene connected to cell death. In their study, published in February, the animals' ovaries remained active in the mouse equivalent of 100-year-olds. And though the altered female mice did not become pregnant, some of their eggs remained viable enough to produce embryos if fertilized in vitro.

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