Is same-sex reproducing possible after all? This is a scientific milestone that lays the way for producing genetic offspring of same-sex mammals.
As you know, all mammals on our planet reproduce by mating with the opposite sex, but now scientists show us that this can change.
They have overcome the mammalian reproduction barrier with mice. A paper that has been recently published in the journal Cell Stem Cell shows that same-sex reproduction in mammals is possible using the right tools.
Using embryonic stem cells
Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Science have used embryonic stem cells and gene editing in order to produce offspring from two male mice and two female mice.
The mice with two mothers lived to adulthood, and they were able to have offspring of their own. On the other hand, the mice with two fathers only lived for 48 hours.
Before this study, scientists have produced baby mice with same-sex parents, but those cases needed some genetic manipulations as well and the offspring, unfortunately, had severe abnormalities.
In this case, researchers have removed embryonic stem cells from a female mouse.
They also removed maternal imprinting from three critical regions of DNA.
The modified stem cells were implanted into the unfertilized egg of the other female and formed an embryo.
According to the study of the 210 embryos produced 29 mice have been born.
Ethical and safety-related concerns
Prof. Azim Surani, director of germline and epigenomics research at the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, told the Guardian:
“The comprehensive nature of the manipulations involved rules out – at least for now – any such attempts to generate bi-maternal human embryos. The bi-paternal embryos in this experiment, in any case, did not survive for long”.
Dr. Teresa Holm, from the University of Auckland, told BBC that this research could pave the way for something more, but there are “significant ethical and safety concerns that would need to be overcome.”
Rada attended the courses in the Faculty of Letters, Romanian-English section, and finished the Faculty of Theatre and Television, Theatrical Journalism section, both within the framework of Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca. Up ’til now, she reviewed books, movies, and theatre-plays, enjoying subjects from the cultural niche. Her experience in writing also intersects the IT niche, given the fact that she worked as a content editor for firms that produce software for mobile devices. She is collaborating with online advertising agencies, writing articles for several websites and blogs.