Thursday, October 29, 2009

Scientists Create Sperm And Eggs From Stem Cells

Does this mean that woman will become just as obsolete as men? On a more serious note, this could be a dream come true for couples dealing with infertility problems. It could also seriously complicate even the most liberal definitions of family, parenthood, and even the basic notion of mother and father. (via)

"Human eggs and sperm have been grown in the laboratory in research which could change the face of parenthood.

It paves the way for a cure for infertility and could help those left sterile by cancer treatment to have children who are biologically their own.
It centres on stem cells, widely seen as a repair kit for the body.

Scientists at Stanford University in California found the right cocktail of chemicals and vitamins to coax the cells into becoming eggs and sperm.
The skin cells would first be exposed to a mixture which wound back their biological clocks to embryonic stem cell state, before being transformed into sperm or eggs.

Starting with a person's own skin would also mean the lab-grown sperm or eggs would not be rejected by the body.

The science also raises the possibility of 'male eggs' made from men's skin and 'female sperm' from women's skin.

This would allow gay couples to have children genetically their own, although many scientists are sceptical about whether it is possible to create sperm from female cells, which lack the male Y chromosome.

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