Exciting advances in science have made it possible to conceive children with two male parents, eliminating the need for a third-party surrogate.
To create seven mice with two male biological parents, Japanese researchers took skin cells from a single male mouse and employed them to form a viable egg which was then fertilized.
By conducting this research, not only are they striving to make progress in treatments for infertility, but also providing a viable pathway forward for same-sex couples who wish to have children of their own without relying on surrogates – an option that is becoming increasingly popular.
“This is the first case of making robust mammal oocytes from male cells,” said Dr. Katsuhiko Hayashi, lead researcher at Kyushu University. He followed up by forecasting that its application in humans could be possible within the upcoming decade.
At the Third International Summit on Human Genome Editing in London, researchers unveiled their findings indicating an emerging treatment for Turner’s Syndrome.
This condition only affects females and is caused by either a partial or complete absence of the X chromosome in their genetic coding.
Generally, women possess two X chromosomes while men have one X as well as one Y chromosome.
As soon as they are formed in the womb, these chromosomes decide whether a fetus will develop into a male or female.
Women born with one X chromosome commonly struggle to conceive, experience an extended onset of puberty, are smaller in stature, and may suffer from cardiac or learning conditions.
Japanese scientists aspire to create a stem cell therapy that can repair infertility caused by the condition.
From eight-week-old mice, they derived stem cells that had naturally dropped their Y chromosome due to unknown causes.
Scientists then manipulated the cells, duplicating the X chromosome in order to create a female cell – one that would contain two separate X genes.
“The biggest trick of this is the duplication of the X chromosome,” Dr. Hayashi stated.
Those cells were transformed into eggs, which were then fertilized in the laboratory with sperm from male mice.
The method resulted in the successful delivery of over half a dozen healthy mice pups.
According to Dr. Hayashi, it is now possible for two fathers to have a child together. This remarkable discovery has opened a brand new door of possibilities in the world of reproduction and genetics.
His team is now actively striving 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.
“I don’t know whether they’ll be available for reproduction.”
“That is not a question just for the scientific program, but also for [society].”
Although many experts have hailed the research as revolutionary, it still has a long way to go before two male humans can bring forth a child without the necessity of female biological input.
Approximately 70,000 American women cope with Turner’s syndrome, meaning one in every 2,000 is affected.
In recent years, the requirement for surrogates in America has skyrocketed due to an influx of same-sex couples who are desiring children.