A controversial fertility company called OvaScience is preoccupied by an enduring mystery in human biology—why eggs fail—and the palpable hope that we can do something about it. The company offers a new treatment, called AUGMENT, based on what it considers to be egg precursor cells found in a woman's ovaries. AUGMENT, which costs up to $25,000, along with thousands more in clinic fees and roughly $25,000 for the in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle that must accompany it, relies on mitochondria from putative egg precursor cells to boost the success of IVF. Seventeen babies have been born so far. The company, which has attracted hundreds of millions of dollars from investors, is poised to introduce a second treatment. But many scientists doubt that egg precursor cells actually exist.
To read the full story, see the 6 November issue of Science.