Scientists recently made a big breakthrough in the world of reproductive science, with the successful birth of healthy baby mice from male donor cells. This marks a major milestone in the field of gene editing, where single-sex reproduction of complex creatures is now achievable.
Many experiments have been carried out on mice. Recently, however, one of great importance for mankind was performed. Scientists at Jyushu University in Japan have succeeded, for the first time in history, in giving birth to mice from two male cells. The researchers made statements at a conference on the human genome held in London. They explained that they changed the chromosomes of a male cell to mutate it from XY to XX.
Mouse birth achieved from male cells.
Following this method, they made a female egg from a male cell, which, when fertilized, resulted in the birth of seven mice with two biological parents. The research is at an early stage, but it raises great expectations. It is excellent news for those couples of two men or two women who wish to have a biological child and so far it is impossible. It is also important for women who have infertility problems.
However, the experiment must be reviewed by the international scientific community. In addition to opening a very important moral debate, since if tested in human reproduction, it would change some concepts about human nature.
More details of the experiment
Oocytes, female cells, were obtained using skin cells because of their flexibility. By special stimulation, these cells mutate from one cell type to another. To do this, they took male skin cells, i.e. with XY chromosomes. They transformed them into plurivalent stem cells by genetically reprogramming them.
They then removed from these plurivalent stem cells the chromosomes and in turn duplicated the X chromosomes. In that way, the cells become eggs.
Impact on society
In addition to the aforementioned moral debate that this discovery opens up, there is also the question of whether it is possible to make this discovery in humans, since the organism of mice is very different from ours. According to the scientists in charge of this research, the stem cells obtained are very fragile. Only one out of every 100 eggs produced and fertilized was successful.
Although this is a very important scientific breakthrough, the researchers believe that it will take a decade before it can be tested in humans. However, the Japanese scientists are optimistic that they have succeeded.
This proves that it is possible and, debates aside, opens up a valuable range of possibilities for couples who wish to procreate and have found it impossible so far.
Harvard Medical School, one of the most prestigious medical schools in the world, sees the effectiveness of the Japanese experiment as a good possibility. Although they doubt whether it will be possible to carry it out in humans, where the reproductive cells are much more complex than those of mice. However, the scientific community never says that something is not possible until it has been proven.