This is quite a provocative story for some people. For me it is just fine because I am a great believer in equality and inclusivity although I don’t agree with all that is going on in the woke movement.
This story is about scientific research which may allow, for example, a couple of gay men to have a child to whom they are related. It seems hard to envisage that because at the moment the only way for a gay couple of men to have a child is to employ the services of a surrogate mother who carries the child of one of the men. That’s my understanding.
But the researchers have after 600 attempted implants created seven mouse pups by turning male cells into eggs and then fertilising that egg. I do not like the idea of any laboratory experiments on animals. It is a great shame that in order to achieve this advance, as some people will see it, it had to be at the expense of so many animals. That cannot be right.
But the scientists have successfully created healthy mice from two fathers and this, The Times states, “could pave the way for gay men to have children related to both parents”.
There has to be some caution because there are technical barriers to overcome. And there are ethical issues to overcome as well.
It appears that scientists have been trying to allow gay men to have children related to themselves for a long time because in 2018 scientists made 12 such mouse pups but all struggled to breathe and they died quite soon after birth. More unpleasant animal experiments I am afraid.
The research was carried out by Katsuhiko Hayashi from Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. He claims that with his colleagues he has succeeded in making this technique work.
“This is the first case of making robust mammal oocyts [egg cells] from male cells.”
They programmed a skin cell from a male mouse to become a stem cell. The cell had XY chromosomes. This means that they could not turn into an egg as eggs are female and have XX chromosomes.
The researchers used a technique to remove the Y chromosome and replaced it with an X chromosome. They then grew the cell into becoming an egg.
They hope that the technique may also be used to improve female fertility when for example Turner syndrome causes female infertility. This disease is caused by chromosomal abnormalities.
They believe and hope that the process could be applied to human cells within a decade.
A professor of stem cell science that King’s College London, Dusco Ilic, said that he was amazed by the research but added that there was a long way to go in applying it to humans both from an ethical and 10 ecological standpoint. My thanks as usual to The Times (Tome Whipple).