Australian researchers said on Tuesday they may have found a way to fertilize an egg with cells from any parts of the body, rather than sperm, in a new study which offers hope to infertile men and even lesbian couples.
Australian infertility scientist Orly Lacham-Kaplan said early research on mice could produce a breakthrough for many men who have no sperm or sperm-making cells. "This is the group for which this kind of technique probably will be very helpful," she said. "A lot of (these) people would like to father their own biological children."
Lacham-Kaplan said the research, if successful in humans, also theoretically could allow babies to be born without any input from men, although she admitted that such an outcome could open up an ethical can of worms.
"If, as a technology, it would be used as a treatment for infertile couples then I would accept it very well," she told Reuters in a telephone interview. "However I think we need to draw the line where it is used, and I believe a lot of ethical groups would draw the line."
Lacham-Kaplan's research unit at the Monash University's Institute of Reproduction and Development in Melbourne has so far been able to fertilize mice eggs with somatic cells from the non-reproductive parts of the animals' bodies.
The process has effectively "mimicked" fertilization with sperm, allowing the team to grow embryos in laboratory cultures. The next critical test in the study is to transfer hundreds of those embryos into surrogate mice mothers, to see if they can live and flourish.
FULL STORY AT: http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/reuters20010710_84.html
This seems to be a devlopement that is a double edged sword! First speaking as a male, I could see where this could be a way to eliminate the male gender in 3-10 generations
, like a rebirth of the amazon
nation! I wondered how they (Amazons had offspring, now I know) LOL!
Second, it could actually be very fruitful for males who are infertile! But I would still have that fear in my mind about male extinction!
I posted a poll for your thoughts as well please vote carefully as I have made it also gender specific for responses!