Scientists in Japan have managed to create eggs from stem cells, which could allow gay couples in the future to have children with both parents’ genes.
Nature reported last week that Japanese researchers at Kyoto University have managed to cause mouse stem cells to become viable eggs that produce healthy offspring.
The breakthrough could help infertile women have children that are biologically theirs.
It could also allow scientists to create an egg from a male partner’s cells and then fertilise it with the other male partner’s sperm.
The egg would then be implanted in a woman’s womb, but the child would be completely the biological offspring of the two men.
The same scientists last year managed to create sperm cells from stem cells but converting stem cells to eggs proved elusive and was only now accomplished.
“There are lots of lesbian and gay couples who would be very excited about the possibility for the first time of being able to have children who are genetically their own,” Hank Greely, a bioethicist at Stanford University, told NPR reporter Rob Stein, reported the Advocate.
The researchers have stressed that the science is still in its infancy and has not yet been attempted on human cells for practical and ethical reasons.