Researchers are getting closer to creating human embryos with DNA from two men

Author: Molly Sprayregen

New research has revealed that it may one day be possible for a male couple to create a biological child together.

The researchers have been using mice for the process, which involves removing the nucleus of a skin cell and transferring it into a donated egg that has had its nucleus removed. From there, the scientists eliminate half the chromosomes in the nucleus so a sperm cell can fertilize it. A similar process was used to clone Dolly the sheep in 1996, though that did not involve removing and replacing half the chromosomes.

The study’s senior author, Shoukhrat Mitalipov, director of the OHSU Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy, and professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and molecular and cellular biosciences, in the OHSU School of Medicine, told OHSU News that the goal “is to produce eggs for patients who don’t have their own eggs.”

IVG could potentially be used to assist those with uteruses experiencing infertility as well as male same-sex couples in producing biological children.

The scientists are reportedly studying how it could work with human cells, and while there have been key developments, it will still be years before anything is put into practice.

“This gives us a lot of insight,” said Paula Amato, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at OHSU School of Medicine. “But there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to understand how these chromosomes pair and how they faithfully divide to actually reproduce what happens in nature.”

As of now, the chromosomes have only paired correctly in rare cases, so the next step of the research is to “determine how we enhance that pairing so each chromosome pair separates correctly,” explained Mitalipov.

This study is considered unique from the way other researchers have approached IVG. Many scientists are working on a process that involves reprogramming skin cells into stem cells and then using them to create egg or sperm cells.

“We’re skipping that whole step of cell reprogramming,” said Amato. “The advantage of our technique is that it avoids the long culture time it takes to reprogram the cell. Over several months, a lot of harmful genetic and epigenetic changes can happen.”

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Actual Story on LGBTQ Nation
Author: Molly Sprayregen

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