Scientists create mice with TWO biological fathers for the first time, in a breakthrough that could pave the way for gay men to have children in the future
Science has come one step closer to allowing two men to reproduce without the need for a surrogate.
Japanese researchers created seven mice with two biological male parents, using skin cells from a male mouse to form a viable egg and then fertilize it.
They hope this research will boost infertility treatments. But it also paves the way for men in same-sex relationships to have a child without the need for a surrogate, which has happened in increasing numbers recently.
“This is the first case of robust mammalian oocyte production from male cells,” said Katsuhiko Hayashi of Kyushu University, who led the research. He went on to say that it could be functional in humans within the next decade.
A Japanese research team successfully created seven mouse pups using eggs created from the cells of male mice and fertilized with sperm from other males (file photo)
The researchers, who presented their findings at the Third International Summit on Human Genome Editing in London, wanted to develop a treatment for Turner syndrome.
The condition only affects women. It occurs when they suffer from an X chromosome that is partially or totally missing in their genetic makeup.
Women generally have two X chromosomes, while men have one X and one Y.
These chromosomes first develop in the womb and determine whether a fetus will undergo male or female development.
Women born with only one X chromosome are often infertile, have delayed puberty, are smaller, and have a higher risk of heart or learning problems.
Japanese researchers hope to develop a stem cell treatment to correct the infertility associated with the condition.
They created stem cells using eight-week-old mice, choosing those that had lost a Y chromosome for some reason.
The scientists then engineered the cells to copy the remaining X chromosome and create a cell with two X genes, what would generally be considered a female cell.
“The biggest trick to this is the duplication of the X chromosome,” said Dr. Hayashi.
They turned those cells into eggs and used sperm from male mice to fertilize them in the lab.
The process led to the birth of more than half a dozen healthy mouse pups.
Dr Hayashi said the new scientist he believes that the door is now open for children to be born to two parents.
Now his team hopes to replicate this same process with human cells.
“Purely in terms of technology, it will be possible (in humans) even in 10 years,” he said. The Guardian.
‘I don’t know if they will be available for reproduction.
“That’s not just a question for the scientific program, but also for (society).”
Other experts have described the research as groundbreaking, but say there is still a long way to go before two human men can have a child without the need for a woman.
More than 70,000 women in the United States have Turner syndrome, or about one in 2,000.
The demand for surrogate mothers in the United States has increased in recent years, partly due to the influx of same-sex couples looking for children.