Same-Sex Couples Could Have Their Own Biological Kids In The Future

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A stem cell research breakthrough may mean that same-sex couples could have their own biological children one day, according to the Cambridge University in England.

Researchers took the first step toward creating artificial sperm and eggs by reprogramming skin cells from adults. Then, they converted those cells into embryonic-like stem cells. Finally, the scientists engineered stem cells with human cells from fetuses to confirm the copies.

Ten donor sources were used to create new germ-cell lines.

“We have succeeded in the first and most important step of the process,” Dr. Jacob Hanna, an investigator with Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, said. “However, the prospect of creating a baby by these artificial means alone is probably a long way off.”

Hanna noted that the team will next attempt to create a fully developed artificial sperm and eggs via rodent or dish. Following this experiment, the technique could be used to solve a number of fertility problems, including creating children for same-sex couples.

“It has already caused interest from gay groups because of the possibility of making egg and sperm cells from parents of the same sex,” Hanna said.

It’s important to note, Hanna reported, that while the situation might technically be possible, the process is in a primary state and there are many challenges to be overcome before it can be used regularly. Hanna noted that ethical and safety issues must be considered if the process is ever to be implemented.

The study was funded by Wellcome Trust and the Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership.

The research itself followed a vote by British MPs in support of the creation of babies that DNA from two women and one man.

Source: News Every Day / Photo Credit: Flickr


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