Yuan Wang: Understanding the cause of infertility
For a human life to form, a sperm must fertilize an egg. Michigan State University’s Yuan Wang is working to understand how the precursors of eggs and sperm are developed in embryos and what interferes with this process to cause infertility in adults.
"In multicell organisms like humans, one fertilized egg can develop into all cell types with diverse biological functions that make up the body,” says Wang, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “Some of these cells become eggs (in female) and sperm (in male). This fascinating process forms a cycle of life and inspires me to understand how this happens."
Wang and her team are studying primordial germ cells or PGCs. These are the precursor cells that eventually develop into eggs and sperm in the embryo. Any disruption to the formation of PGCs causes adult infertility.
Wang’s research also has applications for fertility in livestock. “Results from this project will further benefit the agricultural community by critically informing novel strategies to improve the reproductive health of livestock animals.”
Read full story at MSU Today.