Reproducing Babies Without the Egg Could be Possible: Report
Researchers are now able to create healthy baby mice without the involvement of a fertilized egg, giving rise to the notion that it may someday be possible to reproduce babies in the same way.
Published in Nature Communications, University of Bath, scientists revealed they were able to reproduce the mice by tricking sperm into believing it had been fertilized.
New way to Reproduce?
The early findings could come to spell a way of human reproduction, effectively removing females from the equation entirely.
The experiment commenced with scientists starting with an unfertilized egg and using various chemicals to convert it into a pseudo-embryo.
The "fake" embryos were manipulated to make certain they shared many of the same traits as ordinary cells, namely skin cells and the way thy control DNA.
The odds of achieving a successful pregnancy in the mouse experiments were found to be one in four.
"This is the first time that anyone has been able to show that anything other than an egg can combine with a sperm in this way to give rise to offspring," said Dr. Tony Perry, one of the researchers who manned the study. "It overturns nearly 200 years of thinking."
Baby Mice Born Healthy
Researchers added the baby mice were born healthy and had a normal life expectancy and ultimately healthy offspring of their own.
The focus now is for scientists to determine just how the experiment stops sperm from behaving as itself and instead like an embryo.
As a whole, removing the need for an egg could have a wider impact on society.
"One possibility, in the distant future, is that it might be possible that ordinary cells in the body can be combined with a sperm so that an embryo is formed," added Perry.
Earlier this year, researchers in China were also able to produce sperm from stem cells, which was then fertilized to reproduce healthy mice.