Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Guardian: Stem Cell Discovery will allow Gay Men to create their own eggs for surrogate birth

Recent findings by a group of Scientists from the Kyoto University Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) have taken the Scientific World by storm, and this has raised numerous questions about the findings, and the potential uses and abuses.
This discovery will allow gay men to create an egg of their own, not having to use a donated egg from a female donor, thereby allowing creation of a child born with both parents DNA, not just the DNA of one of the men and the DNA from the egg donor, as is currently the case. This finding has the potential to invigorate the LGBT community, and whispers of it’s use in this manner are already beginning.
The Japanese research team, led by Mitinori Saitou of Kyoto University in Japan, said that they had finally attained their seemingly insurmountable objective, creating eggs from embryonic stem cells, as well as producing eggs that will become healthy offspring.
The most astonishing part of the discovery was that the bio-engineered eggs were the fertilized in-vitro with sperm created from stem cells as well, and then implanted in the mice.
The resulting pregnancy produced healthy mice, and so far, this accomplishment is a rousing success.
The embryonic stem cells used in the study were a different kind of stem cell than we are used to hearing about. When we think of stem cells, we think of umbilical cord stem cells. But this differing type of stem cell, referred to as Induced pluripotent stem cells, can be obtained from the skin cells of a mouse, and a human as well.
This brings the debate over potential uses and abuses to the forefront.
As I stated in my article yesterday, this discovery could lead to cloning of humans without the need for either a man or a women. Depending on your point of view, this can be termed either way, as an abuse or a use.
But just the fact that this discovery has been attained leads us to imagine all of the most wondrous uses for this new, emerging technology.
This will be a boon for older women that wish to have children later in life, because of a new marriage, or just because they want to. Then there are women with infertility issues, such as lack of viable egg creation or miscarriage problems. Bio-engineered eggs made from stem cells could be created and refined to eliminate these problems, giving these unfortunate women hope.
Let us not forget same sex couples. This discovery could also lead to gay men in same sex relationships having the ability to create an offspring completely from just the 2 donors DNA. Skin cells from one of the men can be used to create the egg, and sperm, or sperm created from the skin cells of the other man can be used to fertilize the egg in-vitro, only leaving the surrogate uterus for implantation question on the table.
If Scientists ever discover a way to create a viable womb that eliminates the need for a women’s uterus, it would be a shocking discovery, one that may lead us down a path of no return.
As with all things, this discovery is not a question of if, only when.
It would appear that this is the next avenue for discovery for the Kyoto Team, and I will bet someone or some other research facility is already currently seeking out this eventuality, and it will be attained someday.
Someday will be here soon enough I think.
Article by Jim Donahue.

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