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SCI/TECH: Scientists Close to Creating Eggs and Sperm from Stem Cells

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posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 01:43 AM
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British scientists from Sheffield University announced early success in growing gamete cells from embryonic stem cells, a development that could offer more reproductive options to infertile couples including gay and lesbian couples and women past menopause. The achievement is scheduled to be announced European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Copenhagen today.
 



www.bloomberg.com
June 20 (Bloomberg) -- Scientists in the U.K. have shown that human embryonic stem cells grown in a laboratory can develop into early forms of egg and sperm cells, raising the possibility that stem cells might be used to help couples conceive.

Studies of embryonic stem cells in mice showed they were capable of developing into eggs and sperm, Behrouz Aflatoonian, a Ph.D. student at the Centre for Stem Cell Biology at the University of Sheffield found. Further studies on human embryonic stem cells, donated for research by couples undergoing IVF treatment and from the University of Wisconsin, showed similar results, he said in a telephone interview.

``One of the reasons for doing the research is that it may allow us to investigate the very earliest processes of how a human ovary and testis develops,'' Professor Harry Moore of the Centre for Stem Cell Biology said in an e-mailed statement. ``Ultimately, it might be possible to produce sperm and eggs for use in assisted conception treatments,'' Moore said.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Cloning technologies are advancing at a furious pace. It looks like soon two people of the same sex will be able to have a child together with this technology. I just hope that ethical standards will be able to keep up.

Related News Links:
www.guardian.co.uk
www.abc.net.au




posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 08:51 AM
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So a female virgin could have a child.......... I wonder if the end of the world folks can find a link to the number 666 with Sheffield Uni or one of the inevitable protest groups ?



posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 11:14 AM
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Originally posted by malcr
So a female virgin could have a child.......... I wonder if the end of the world folks can find a link to the number 666 with Sheffield Uni or one of the inevitable protest groups ?


I guess so. They'd clone the virgin then grow both sperm and egg cells from it and fertilize the egg and implant it. That would be really strange, different from a clone but still made soley from one person's DNA.



posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 11:32 AM
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Wow, thats pretty incredible. THe formation of gametes from regular cells is a bit of a process, a big acheivement of nature itself, I'd've thought something like this would be very difficult, but I suppose it makes sense, the stem cells are equipotent, they can become any of the tissues, or any combination of tissues. Each one can become a full person, or an organ, or anything. Impressive.

I don't know about making a sperm cell from a stem cell from a woman tho, the articles are a little unclear as to if thats something they've close to doing, and of course they haven't developed full eggs and sperm, but precursors, but still, quite an acheivement.

Here's a short little page on germ cells, and a page on development of mammalian gonads and a page on gamete production in humans and a page on the ethics of using stem cells to develope gametes. Apparently this topic has been the focus of disscussion and consideration before the experiment was done.



posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 11:34 AM
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Very interesting!

Could be a godsend to couples that are infertile. But unfortunately it will get bogged down by politics. Anything involving stem cells will.

I find it very interesting that stem cell research (which seems capable of fixing almost all of our health problems) meets such opposition from politicians. Maybe because expensive prescriptions (in this case fertility treatments) would no longer be needed and the pharmaceutical lobby is scared to death?



posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 11:34 AM
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Wow, thats pretty incredible. THe formation of gametes from regular cells is a bit of a process, a big acheivement of nature itself, I'd've thought something like this would be very difficult, but I suppose it makes sense, the stem cells are equipotent, they can become any of the tissues, or any combination of tissues. Each one can become a full person, or an organ, or anything. Impressive.

I don't know about making a sperm cell from a stem cell from a woman tho, the articles are a little unclear as to if thats something they've close to doing, and of course they haven't developed full eggs and sperm, but precursors, but still, quite an acheivement.

Here's a short little page on germ cells, and a page on development of mammalian gonads and a page on gamete production in humans and a page on the ethics of using stem cells to develope gametes. Apparently this topic has been the focus of disscussion and consideration before the experiment was done.



posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 12:19 PM
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Great, another outlet for the rich, arrogant and narcisstic to breed more of themselves. We'll see plenty of use of this in Hollywood and professional sports. Celebrity "couples" whose children look exactly like only one of the "parents".

In this process, there's no concern of genetic issues like inbreeding causes is there? Since it's not really a copy of a copy, when they're cracking open the basic building blocks?

Still, when you can build a human to fit an individual's desires, you will build to those fleeting desires. Something is lost, a uniqueness, and that random chance that leads to evolution. And with that loss, so goes some of the intrinsic "value" of life. Why try real hard to protect a unique individual when you can pretty much create another one? Hollywood already creates and discards individuals to capitalize on quick entertainment trends. What happens to individuals who are created on these whims from birth? having all the same legal rights isn't quite the same as the stigma of being created as a pseudo clone when it's no longer fashionable or when society's stigmas are more pronounced.



posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 06:08 PM
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Originally posted by malcr
So a female virgin could have a child.......... I wonder if the end of the world folks can find a link to the number 666 with Sheffield Uni or one of the inevitable protest groups ?


I must have missed something in those articles as I don't see how this could lead to a female virgin having a child. I think it's intresting to note that similar research results were announced from both Australia and the U.K. at the same time and that the U.K. announcement got all the publicity, while the Aussie research apparently has made the most progress.



posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 07:53 PM
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If you look at the Guardian link, it seems to suggest that would, in fact, be possible.

Of course any offspring only from a woman's DNA could only create another woman, whether a clone or a "child by yourself" for lack of a better term made possible with this technology.



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