Eggs have a protective ‘checkpoint’ that helps to prevent DNA damaged eggs being fertilized, new research suggests. Damage to an egg’s DNA can result in infertility, birth defects and miscarriages. This damage can occur as a result of the natural aging process and also as a result of women taking certain types of medication following chemotherapy, or radiotherapy. The researchers found that damage to DNA during meiosis, the process that results in the formation of sperm cells and egg cells, activates the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) in the maturing egg, known as an oocyte, which prevents it from fully developing and stops it from being fertilized.
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