Oct 06, 2012 12:30 PM GMT
OK... so from what I understand from this article - anyone can now be a parent - dead or alive so long as you have genetic material. Doesn't this also mean that it may be very possible for two gay partners can create a child that is the genetic offspring of both?
In the latest research, Dr. Hayashi and his colleagues created new mouse eggs in the lab, then used them to create healthy offspring. The results were achieved using both types of stem cells—the embryonic and the reprogrammed—reinforcing the validity of the technique, at least in mice.
The Kyoto group began by adding proteins, known as growth factors, to stem cells obtained from a female mouse. Because the proteins control cell growth and differentiation, the stem cells became epiblast-like cells, which are a certain type of cell in the early embryo of a mammal. When other proteins were added, the epiblast-like cells became primordial germ cells.
Primordial germ cells aren't of a particular sex, but they can become eggs or sperm depending on which somatic cells surround them. Somatic cells are non-germ cells that go on to form much of the body, including blood, bone and organs.
The scientists obtained a fetal mouse ovary and removed its germ cells, but left the somatic cells in place. The previously made primordial germ cells were cultured with the somatic cells, and the mix was transplanted into an adult female mouse.
Four weeks later, scientists removed the transplanted cells and isolated the immature eggs that had grown in the mix. They matured them in a lab dish. The eggs were put in a test tube and fertilized with mouse sperm. The resulting embryos were transferred to female mice, some of which yielded healthy and fertile mice pups.