#manban comes to procreation: babies without fathers

This opens up a can of ethical worms… new research shows the possibility of making both sperm and eggs from mere skin cells.

Researchers have used skin cells to make primitive artificial sperm and eggs in a move that could transform fertility treatment.

Scientists in Cambridge made the sex cells by culturing human embryonic stem cells for five days under carefully-controlled conditions.

They then showed that the same process can convert adults’ skin tissue into early-stage sperm and eggs.

The scientists believe that those cells could then grow into mature sperm and eggs.

The next step in the project will be to inject the primitive cells into mouse ovaries to see if they do fully develop.

If it works, it could mean skin cells could be turned into genetically-identical sex cells to be used in adults who are undergoing IVF therapy.

Or, you can scrape some skin cells of a man that you think is the perfect specimen, take it to a lab and have his skin turned into an egg and sperm, impregnate itself in the lab, and then put inside a woman – all without the father’s consent or knowledge.  

‘We can now take any embryonic stem cell line and once we have them in the proper conditions, we can make these primordial cells in five to six days.’

The move could be a landmark development in the medical world. Researchers have previously made sperm and eggs from rodent stem cells but have struggled to achieve the same with human cells.

If the research does work, the current law for fertility treatment would need to be changed for the process to be used.

Currently, British fertility clinics are prevented from using artificial sperm and eggs to treat infertile couples.

In 2012, Japanese scientists used stem cells to create mouse eggs, which were used to make baby mice.

Scientists at Newcastle University had also claimed to have made human sperm in the same way in 2009, but their paper was retracted amid allegations of plagiarism.

For this research, the scientists developed a culture process which turned about half of the cells into into precursors of eggs and sperm.

They then added natural chemicals called growth factors to development them further.

It is early work, but it does mean that we are now looking at a viable matriarchal society where genetically desirable men can be “farmed” for their skin cells, and women go “shopping” from a catalog.

How many women, given the opportunity to get away with it, would want to do this with skin cells from Dan Carter, or Sonny Bill?

And it doesn’t have to be male skin cells.  What about taking some from Madonna, Angela Merkel or Katy Perry?

– Daily Mail

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.