Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are unipotent – they go on to form germline stem cells and gametes. However, they are believed to possess latent pluripotency, allowing them to produce the next generation during the normal life-cycle, and to be reprogrammed to pluripotent embryonic germ cells (EGCs) upon experimental manipulation. Various protocols for EGC establishment have been reported, with varying efficiency. Yasuhisa Matsui and colleagues now report a highly efficient method for mouse PGC-to-EGC conversion, using Akt activation in concert with bFGF and LIF treatment (p. 4457). Using a relatively simple protocol starting from purified E10.5 PGCs in culture, the authors are able to achieve 60% reprogramming efficiency, which is significantly higher than any previous method. These reprogrammed EGCs readily contribute to mouse chimeras, including the germline. The authors suggest that Akt may act by inhibiting apoptosis of PGCs and/or by promoting signalling events (including via bFGF and LIF) that mediate PGC-to-EGC reprogramming, thus inducing the latent pluripotency of early PGCs.