Baby Mice Born from Eggs Made from Stem Cells
Let that headline sink in for a minute.
At first glance, these mice look like normal little critters, the standard-issue Mus musculus. And if you looked at their DNA, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell them apart from many other lab mice. Except these are special.
They were created from eggs that came from stem cells.
Yep, that’s right. For decades now, researchers have been able to turn a specific kind of stem cell, embryonic stem cells, into a full blown mouse. As amazing as it seems, that’s a pretty standard lab procedure. An ES cell gets treated in a particular way to create a “fake embryo”, then implanted into a hormone-treated mouse and develops like a normal baby mouse. While that is important for many experiments, it doesn’t help humans much … especially humans with fertility issues.
But these mice are different. Stem cells, both embryonic versions and stem cells created from skin (skin, I tell you!), were coaxed into becoming eggs and then fertilized by male sperm. They grew up to be those whiskery guys above.
This amazing feat, from Kyoto University’s Katsuhiko Hayashi, could one day help us understand how to help humans who have difficulty conceiving. In vitro fertilization may be about to go to the next level.
Science is just awesome.
(via Scientific American)
Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t that mean a baby could have two dads and no mom?
If you could, say, create stems cells from a man’s skin, turn it into an egg and then fertilize it with the sperm from another man…
Could a man become a mom?
Oh, sure, you’d still need a woman to carry the baby to term — a “Surrogate” — but wouldn’t it still make the REAL mother a man?
I don’t know if I’m reading more into this than is there, but from the way it is written it certainly wouldn’t rule anything out…
Does anyone know?