SCIENTISTS have shown for the first time that it is possible to make human egg and sperm cells using skin from two adults of the same sex. The breakthrough raises the prospect of the first fully “manufactured” baby made in a laboratory dish from the skin cells of two adults of the same gender.
The researchers admitted that the development raised serious ethical issues, but said it would help people who had become infertile through disease and had also prompted interest from gay people. The breakthrough, funded by the Wellcome Trust, was achieved at Cambridge University in a project with Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science.
The scientists used stem cell lines from embryos as well as from the skin of five adults. Researchers have previously created live baby mice using engineered eggs and sperm, but until now have struggled to create a human version of these “primordial germ” or stem cells.
The stem cells can be turned into any tissue in the body. As well as producing sperm and eggs, they will ultimately provide a “repair kit” for any organ.
Discover, Explore & Learn more at The Sunday Times | Science | Cell breakthrough to bring two-dad babies
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