Two-dad babies could soon be a reality

Mar 2, 2015

Credit: Dabarti CGI / Shutterstock

By Bec Crew

For the first time, scientists have shown that it’s possible for two people of the same sex to create a baby, without the need for outside egg or sperm donation. The most obvious benefits would be for homosexual couples who want to have a child together, but the method could also help couples who have been affected by infertility.

The team, from Cambridge University in the UK and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, built on previous work where baby mice were successfully raised from mouse skin cells that had been converted into what’s known as primordial germ cells – the precursors of egg and sperm cells. It was a real struggle to replicate the process using human biological matter, but now they’ve finally managed to create new human primordial germ cells using skin cells from five human donors and stem cell lines from five human embryos.

“We have succeeded in the first and most important step of this process, which is to show we can make these very early human stem cells in a dish,” lead researcher and professor of physiology and reproduction at Cambridge, Azim Surani, told Lois Rogers at The Sunday Times


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47 comments on “Two-dad babies could soon be a reality

  • Surely you need a donated denucleated egg. I presume it donates the mitochonria.

    This reminds me of a joke I would tell at gay lib lectures in schools back in the 1970s. We could always count on some earnest Catholic girl in the audience asking “But don’t you miss having children?”.

    My partner and I would look at each other with a wicked grin and he would say “Yes, but we are trying very hard every night”.



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  • This is interesting in refuting theist nonsense about the “sanctity of eggs and zygotes”, and kills their silly anti-abortion argument that the DNA in zygotes is “special holy DNA”, and different from the full chromosome set in other cells!



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  • From the article:
    …they’ve finally managed to create new human primordial germ cells using skin cells from five human donors and stem cell lines from five human embryos…

    “…in refuting theist nonsense…”

    This doesn’t change anything from that point of view.



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  • Doug Mar 3, 2015 at 6:39 am

    “…they’ve finally managed to create new human primordial germ cells using skin cells from five human donors and stem cell lines from five human embryos…”

    .“…in refuting theist nonsense…

    This doesn’t change anything from that point of view.

    While the technique has not been carried out in humans, the mouse experiments demonstrate the principle, so it does refute claims of exclusivity for conventional fertilisation.

    @OP -The team, from Cambridge University in the UK and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, built on previous work where baby mice were successfully raised from mouse skin cells that had been converted into what’s known as primordial germ cells



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  • …and in this corner, Shirley (national day of prayer) Dobson just choked on her morning croissant. Spat up raspberry jam, not pretty.



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  • religious groups will welcome this news since the only reason they objected to gay marriage was because of the inablility for two people of the same sex to have babies.

    that wraps that up then…



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  • The child created through this technological process would become a zygote itself. In fact, that is what these doctors hope will happen. And then they could kill this new zygote/embryo so they could do further experiments to see what other technological processes they can create – I am sure they are looking forward to killing the ‘two-dad’ zygotes. How about you?



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  • new human primordial germ cells using skin cells from five human
    donors and stem cell lines from five human embryos

    Huh? so they made a primordial germ cell that precurses sperm and egg by a process including using embryos which are made in the first place via …. fusion of egg and sperm? I don’t get it, where’s the advance? It’s like saying I made a fresh block of wood from dismantling a wooden chair?



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  • vin3 Mar 3, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Huh? so they made a primordial germ cell that precurses sperm and egg by a process including using embryos which are made in the first place via …. fusion of egg and sperm? I don’t get it, where’s the advance?

    The advance is in the parentage and the DNA in the new zygote.

    It’s like getting a new birthday present in an old box to protect it in the post!



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  • No it’s not. It’s like repurposing a female connector to modify two male connectors so they end up doing what a female connector does in a manner that belies the fact that a female connector was used in the repurposing process at all.



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  • Is that a rebuttal Alan?

    Nothing to celebrate here then – move long – the scientists just wasted time and money recreating skin cells and blood cells that are already in abundance.

    But you know as I do – the DNA in a zygote is unique – a new individual – and if I may dare to explain it to a science-revisionist (Howdy Dudey 😉 ) – it is a new being. The DNA in a zygote is not only unique and different than the parents – it is the beginning stages of a new living being.

    I specifically said “killed” (not ‘murdered’) because it is not illegal to destroy these embryos in some countries. Even Peter Singer makes this acknowledgment – he acknowledges that a zygote is a human being at least – he just denies its importance, and its value. Dr. Singer’s moral argument is based on a compassion for animals, and places an entity’s ability to suffer as a base-line as to whether we need to give it value. It is an arbitrary line in the sand. However, instead of shrinking the pool of human beings (and species) we show compassion to – why don’t we dare to expand the pool. If life is such a ‘miracle’ (I used the word in the sense that Hitchens uses it – improbable event) why treat it like junk?



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  • Tyler Mar 3, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    But you know as I do – the DNA in a zygote is unique – a new individual

    Nope! 70% of human zygotes never make it birth. Even in the natural world without any intervention, most spontaneously abort.

    http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/04/2/pdf/l_042_03.pdf

    A zygote is a cell or group of cells with DNA from the species gene-pool – slightly re-mixed in a new combination. (see page 3 on above link) Most people could not tell a zygote from one species from another!

    https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Week_1



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  • 21
    old-toy-boy says:

    Sorry, but I just don’t see the point of this. There are millions of children who desprately needing adopting in the world. & some people are wasting time and resourses on this? which will contribute nothing to the human gene pool. ( I could understand it if the kids could see in 4 colours or could regenerate limbs but) this looks as if it motivated only by vanity to me.

    I seem to be in a minority here, can someone please tell me where i am wrong.



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  • Or they could hedge their bets and do one each, and then just choose their favorite (so long as they discard the other before it reaches the “standard” definition of “being”, of course).

    Just think of the places we’ll go!



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  • Tyler Mar 3, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Peter Singer makes this acknowledgment – he acknowledges that a zygote is a human being at least

    We have been over this before!
    A zygote is not “a human being”. It is human tissue – undifferentiated cells!
    Have a look at the educational images and diagrams I have linked.

    Humpty Dumptyism about names, is not evidence of anything except the failure to use standard definitions from expert sources (Such as Medline).



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  • … it does refute claims of exclusivity for conventional fertilisation.

    Which isn’t the primary issue anyway. This new procedure is simply an alternative way (similar to cloning) to achieve the equivalent of fertilization and the beginnings of a new, distinct individual. The primary issue is when we have such. (But of course you already know that.)



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  • Doug Mar 3, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    “… it does refute claims of exclusivity for conventional fertilisation.”

    Which isn’t the primary issue anyway.

    Ah! But it was on this earlier discussion, where this mistaken claim, was confusing a zygote with a human being, and claiming skin cells were not equivalent to germ cells in their hereditary content and potential development:-

    “I have also heard people try to mislead people by equating a human being with a cell from your hand because both are living.”

    This new procedure is simply an alternative way (similar to cloning) to achieve the equivalent of fertilization and the beginnings of a new, distinct individual.

    It is indeed an extension of in-vitro fertility treatment.
    The development stages are well illustrated on my my links, and links on the previous discussion.



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  • “…you know as I do – the DNA in a zygote is unique – a new individual – and if I may dare to explain… – it is a new being.”

    I tend to agree @Tyler, but be careful about the word “unique”. Twins and clones may not be genetically unique, but it’s still accurate to consider them individuals. (And the occurrence of so-called “Siamese” twins throws in another complication – though easily managed.)

    As far as “beings”, it all boils down to definitions (as other thoughtful contributors have pointed out before me). Some define “being” similarly to the way others might define “person”. Some perhaps think these words are synonymous. I think all individual humans are “human beings” from the moment fertilization occurs (whatever the mechanism, which is truly irrelevant), yet I think “personhood” comes (if it comes) at some later stage, which varies among individuals but could be defined as when there is evidence that the living “being” is interacting with its environment in meaningful ways. (Unfortunately – or maybe fortunately – the word “meaningful” may be too vague for some, since some will see meaning where others do not.)

    …ability to suffer as a base-line as to whether we need to give it value. It is an arbitrary line in the sand.

    This seems consistent with the “interacting with the environment” criterion for personhood, but my concern would be that it may not be possible to reliably determine when suffering actually occurs. I disagree that the criterion is “arbitrary” because suffering should be avoided whenever possible (for reasons I assume anyone reading this will understand), but it may indeed be difficult to identify.

    instead of shrinking the pool of human beings (and species) we show compassion to – why don’t we dare to expand the pool.

    I think for those who refuse to admit that human zygotes and embryos are human “beings”, it all boils down to the responsibility that compassion entails. There are those who are willing (and able) to accept that responsibility, and then there are those who are not.



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  • …can someone please tell me where i am wrong.

    You’re right from the standpoint of adoption. One would hope that most people who want a child but are currently unable to create one in the “traditional” way would strongly consider adoption as a way to “kill two birds with one stone”. (Sorry, but I couldn’t think of a less violent fitting metaphor.)

    You’re probably right from the standpoint of the “gene pool” (though I may not understand what you mean by this). This process doesn’t really change anything in that regard, except that it may allow certain combinations of genes that may never have been combined otherwise.

    There may be some “vanity” involved, but this is motivated primarily by hopes for future profit. Just another resource to exploit.



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  • but now they’ve finally managed to create new human primordial germ cells using skin cells from five human donors…
    Will reference to “forefathers” be replaced by “foreskins”?

    There may be some “vanity” involved, but this is motivated primarily by hopes for future profit. Just another resource to exploit.
    When will stock exchanges start trading in zygote futures?

    Nigerian women have on average over 5 children per woman. When will Science discover their secret?



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  • Doug Mar 3, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    I think for those who refuse to admit that human zygotes and embryos are human “beings”, it all boils down to the responsibility that compassion entails. There are those who are willing (and able) to accept that responsibility, and then there are those who are not.

    Compassion for zygotes is delusional, just like compassion for skin cells or blood cells, or the thousands of spores, seeds, and eggs, which never grow to maturity! It is merely a pretext for the ignorant, trying to interfere in other people’s lives, and with their relationship with medical professionals.

    Until zygotes develop a nervous system, the question of suffering does not arise. “Suffering” is only possible in a later stage embryo or foetus, but of course the mother can suffer at any time.

    The link (below) which I put on the earlier discussion (linked previously), explains these development stages in detail. – as do other links.

    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002398.htm

    The “zygotes are human beings nonsense”, is from the ignorance of antiquity, when microscopes had not been invented, and nobody had ever seen a zygote!

    It is a theistic hangover of Preformationism, used by those trying to find a credible place to slot in a “soul”, which of course, in antiquity was in a gap in knowledge, where mystical speculation could easily be hidden from critical examination.
    There is no scientific basis for these ancient long refuted claims.



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  • Melvin Mar 4, 2015 at 2:30 am

    Nigerian women have on average over 5 children per woman. When will Science discover their secret?

    Lack of contraception and high infant mortality rates, reducing the 5 to less??



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  • Lack of contraception and high infant mortality rates, reducing the 5 to less??

    I believe you mean, “Availability of [or access to] contraceptionreducing the 5 to less”
    The total fertility rate refers to the number of live births. High but falling infant-child mortality notwithstanding, Nigeria is projected to grow from 150 million to an incredible 400 million by 2050 becoming the 4th largest nation in the world, with a population slightly smaller but approaching that of the United States.

    “There’s no “secret”. Plenty of fecundity theories out there.”
    It’s a joke, Doug!

    Of course, fecundity doesn’t apply in the context of this article.”
    The article hypes the multiple skin-cell-embryo research as promising a remedy for “infertility” so “fecundity”
    certainly applies. The arc of the research makes the enterprise a poor option for infertile parents who want a baby, not least of which is the fact that the procedure has not come close to producing a baby. If everything goes according to plan and a baby plops out at the end of the assembly line, what will it cost?
    These guys aren’t doing this for free. I suspect the convoluted high-tech intensity of the process will make the cost skyrocket into the stratosphere, making in vitro look like paying for a flu shot. Finally how does the process fulfill the predominant expectations of many infertile couples (or a single parent) since at best it could only deliver some strange kid into their arms with virtually no genetic connection? Infertile people inclined to accept (and love) an unrelated child can readily adopt. Many infertile couples expect the child to carry both mother’s and father’s DNA, so they opt for in vitro or settle (if necessary) for half-the-deal with surrogacy. Effectively paying an exorbitant sum for an artificial creature put together in a lab with no biological connection to the parent(s)-buyer(s) would appeal only to a handful of the rich, the eccentric and to fools. Well..there’s a fool born every minute and sometimes they’re twins.



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  • Sorry for my ignorant comments, Melvin.
    I sensed that it might be a joke, but wasn’t sure.
    And the fecundity comment was in regards to what I thought was the main thrust of the article, being toward same-sex couples:

    …scientists have shown that it’s possible for two people of the same sex to create a baby…

    …for whom the term fecundity wouldn’t apply (though it appears that may change), but you are correct, there was also:

    …the method could also help couples who have been affected by infertility.

    You say:

    …virtually no genetic connection..

    That’s not the impression I got.



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  • Thanks, Doug. I intended no disrespect or serious sarcasm. We’re all just reading words on a page with little clue to context or what’s in the mind behind an anonymous voice.

    Like you I lack confidence in my claim that there is little or no genetic connection between baby and parents represented by a 50-50 split of parental DNA. The article says: “they’ve finally managed to create new human primordial germ cells using skin cells from five human donors and stem cell lines from five human embryos. Sounds like there is genetic material supplied by ten different people. In any event if Sam and Joe “conceive” a child in this way, will they be able to hover over baby Betty’s crib and say, “She’s got your nose and my mouth…” I’m puzzled and await further explanation and research.

    “…scientists have shown that it’s possible for two people of the same sex to create a baby…”
    I found this possibility intriguing. I crunched some numbers on LGBT demographics in the United States. About 3.5% of the U.S. population of 319 million self-identify as LGBT. Only 10.64% of gays and lesbians form same-sex couples qualifying as a household. Only 1.7% of the LGBT population have “own children” (includes biological only, by marriage [step-child], or adopted). The category “biological only” where I presume the same-sex couple decides to have a baby with the aid of an opposite-sex donor (sperm or egg) represents only 1.2% of the LGBT population. It remains to be seen if same-sex procreation methods become available, reliable and safe (a big “if”) whether these methods will spike demand for biological children among gay and lesbian couples. I speculate that lesbian (female) couples are more likely to want children than gay (male) couples but that collectively the overall demand will remain very low.



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  • Tyler Mar 3, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    However, instead of shrinking the pool of human beings (and species) we show compassion to – why don’t we dare to expand the pool.

    The human gene pool needs to maintain diversity, BUT, in a heavily overpopulated planet, where expanding human populations are destroying habitats and causing mass extinctions of other species, the last thing we need is expanding the human population!

    If life is such a ‘miracle’ (I used the word in the sense that Hitchens uses it – improbable event) why treat it like junk?

    Unfortunately those who do not understand the nature of cellular life, fail to recognise that a vast number of cells are, or quickly become, “junk” which is recycled to other organisms. – (Hair, skin-cells, finger nails, annual plants, the majority of spores, seeds, offspring of prolific breeding species).
    For every unfertilised egg, or naturally aborted zygote which is “junk”, there are thousands of lining cells from the uterus and blood cells, also shed.
    Cells are cells – get over it!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/triple_edexcel/control_systems/menstrual_cycle_fertilisation/revision/1/

    A lot of living matter becomes “junk”, in the processes of living, and all cells die after a relatively short life span!



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  • Alan4discussion Mar 3, 2015 at 3:33 am

    This is interesting in refuting theist nonsense about the “sanctity of eggs and zygotes”, and kills their silly anti-abortion argument that the DNA in zygotes is “special holy DNA”, and different from the full chromosome set in other cells!

    This is an important issue, where the befuddled theists, are insisting on damaging or killing pregnant women to save some bunch of cells which bronze-age-“biology” has told them is sacred!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2015/02/university-of-scranton-president-wants-to-eliminate-abortion-coverage-for-life-threatening-pregnancies/



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  • In any event if Sam and Joe “conceive” a child in this way, will they
    be able to hover over baby Betty’s crib and say, “She’s got your nose
    and my mouth…”

    From what I have learned here, even that is a matter of perception. I was born thousands of miles from my wife and of a different race. My wife looks at my sons and sees me and I see her. Their feet are mine etc…My mum tells me that people from our village used to come to our and marvel at my golden curls (Soon to turn brown) and my changing eye colour, from blue to green. They still change colour according to what I am wearing but now realise, with the thread on “That Dress” that it is only a perception helped along by what I am wearing.



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  • My wife looks at my sons and sees me and I see her.

    Excellent observation. Resemblance is in the eye of the beholder. I never appreciated assertions about the features of newborns, infants or young children “belonging” to one parent or the other. Babies and toddlers change rapidly as they grow and our initial assessments are subject to frequent revision. Often times less ambiguous resemblances emerge as people develop into older age. I know an elderly woman, quite the beauty in her youth, who moved into her eighties then early nineties. Though she remains a “handsome” woman, the softer feminine features of her face fell away revealing the square-jawed taciturn face of the Swedish carpenter who had been her father. The similarity in facial bone structure is remarkable.

    Larger questions about the research concern unrealistic expectations, unpredictable outcomes, and, of course, ethics. The title itself has the cachet of tabloid journalism poisoned with a strong dose of false advertising: “Two-dad babies could soon be a reality [!!!].” I suspect no such thing is in the offing. I believe the research will prove useful in applications other than “making babies” for infertile or same sex couples. For anyone stupid enough to consider the proposed option when and if it develops -along with the exorbitant cost, risk, and tortured process…Why sail around Cape Horn when you can go through the Panama Canal?



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  • @Mr. 4discussion-

    I think most here would agree that those who are “…insisting on damaging or killing pregnant women to save [what you refer to as] some bunch of cells…” are committing a moral error. But it is not because that “bunch of cells” is not a human being. There are plenty of examples in life where a choice must be made regarding who to preserve and who to deliberately kill or allow to die. (The simplest example that comes to my limited mind is self-defense, but I’m sure you can come up with many other terrific examples on your own.) We don’t have to deny the humanity or the “being-ness” of the one who gets the “short straw”. We just have to have good reasons – which will depend on the specifics of each case – for choosing one over the other.

    Compassion for zygotes is delusional

    There is no delusion because it hinges on definitions; it’s reasonable to define a human zygote as a human being because it is a stage in the life cycle of every human animal. Without this stage, none of the others are possible. Compassion for fellow human beings, regardless of life stage, is perfectly rational. (Did you know that “humanity” is a synonym for compassion?)

    70% of human zygotes never make it [to] birth. Even in the natural world without any intervention, most spontaneously abort.

    Is it the relatively high percentage that makes this a relevant statistic? If it were only 50%, then would you consider zygotes human beings? How about 30%? If 70% is supposed to be persuasive, has it ever occurred to you that 100% of all human beings who have ever lived were zygotes at one time? You must be aware that in some countries and at various times throughout history (“in the natural world without any intervention“), mortality rates for human infants born alive (fully human “beings” according to your definition) has been as high as 40%. Do you really want to include this in your list of criteria for determining the “non-being-ness” of any stage in the life of a human animal? You would brand me an imbecile if I suggested that infants who die after birth are “junk” because 30% (nay, any percent) of them don’t survive (“in the natural world without any intervention“).

    A zygote is a cell or group of cells with DNA from the species gene-pool – slightly re-mixed in a new combination.

    Sounds like a good description of you (or me, or anyone else reading this)!

    Most people could not tell a zygote from one species from another!

    And this is relevant because…?

    It is in fact irrelevant, because it is possible for many people, with the right knowledge and tools, to tell one zygote species from another. (Even without the knowledge or tools, all it would take is to observe its development – at some point it will become obvious, just as it did in your case and mine.)



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  • Sounds like there is genetic material supplied by ten different people.

    I thought this was only the case for the experiments. I had assumed the eventual commercial application would only involve cells from the expectant couple, but if cells from human embryos is required, clearly they would not, could not be related.

    I believe the research will prove useful in applications other than “making babies”

    I suspect you are correct.

    Why sail around Cape Horn when you can go through the Panama Canal?

    Great analogy! (And I’m not joking.)



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  • Doug Mar 5, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    I think most here would agree that those who are “…insisting on damaging or killing pregnant women to save [what you refer to as] some bunch of cells…” are committing a moral error.

    But those doing so don’t, because they are using dogmatic “faith-thinking”, which does not require evidence or understanding of what is actually happening.

    But it is not because that “bunch of cells” is not a human being.

    There is abundant evidence from anyone who has looked at the image or structure or functioning of a zygote, that it is not a human being. It is human tissue. (See the images I linked.)

    There are plenty of examples in life where a choice must be made regarding who to preserve and who to deliberately kill or allow to die.

    The misuse of the word “who” is not recognised as evidence in science. Neither is the fallacy of begging the question.

    “Compassion for zygotes is delusional”

    There is no delusion because it hinges on definitions;

    Science does not do Humpty-Dumpty definitions. I liked the properly defined scientific names for the different stages of development on the Medline+ link.
    “Compassion” for a bunch of cells is just as silly as compassion for a lump of meat – which is in fact a bunch of cells!

    it’s reasonable to define a human zygote as a human being because it is a stage in the life cycle of every human animal.

    No it isn’t. It’s like defining a heap of iron ore as a motorcar!

    Without this stage, none of the others are possible.

    That’s right, without iron ore being smelted, steel motor shells can’t be manufactured.

    Compassion for fellow human beings, regardless of life stage, is perfectly rational. (Did you know that “humanity” is a synonym for compassion?)

    Except that zygotes are not human beings so this is just a semantic circular argument which substitutes a Humpty-Dumpty definition, for proper scientific terminology. Rationality is a deductive process not a badge to stick on to unevidenced assertions.

    “70% of human zygotes never make it [to] birth. Even in the natural world without any intervention, most spontaneously abort.”

    Is it the relatively high percentage that makes this a relevant statistic? If it were only 50%, then would you consider zygotes human beings?

    Of course not! The high percentage simply illustrates the uncertainty of development to further stages, just as sperm and eggs are not certain to continue to later stages of development. There is a lot of wastage in natural selection.

    has it ever occurred to you that 100% of all human beings who have ever lived were zygotes at one time?

    . .. and 100% of them were sperms and eggs at one time, (apart from zygotes in this experiment) – Are sperms and eggs human beings because they are part of a developmental stage? The preformationists thought sperms were! Perhaps we should be showing sperms “compassion” as well if we are going to be so deluded?

    What about various bits of parents and grandparents going back millions of years!
    They are also parts of development stages of human beings. LUCA was more like a fertilised egg than a human being is!
    Fertilisation is just an arbitrary point picked out by those who have (or in the past had), no idea what they were talking about – as was illustrated on my link on Preformationism, – so they grasped at what was simplistic enough for them to know.

    “Most people could not tell a zygote from one species from another!”

    And this is relevant because…?

    Because most of the people claiming that *zygotes are human beings”, are regurgitating theistic ignorance, have no idea about the biology, and repeating stuff told to them by other people who have no idea about the biology!

    It is in fact irrelevant, because it is possible for many people, with the right knowledge and tools, to tell one zygote species from another.

    That would be the biologists and geneticists, who know the correct structures at the various stages, and the proper names of those stages, not the theologists mindlessly regurgitating bronze-age dogmas.

    (Even without the knowledge or tools, all it would take is to observe its development – at some point it will become obvious, just as it did in your case and mine.)

    It would not – until it reached later stages.

    That is the feature of “faith knowledge”. Even without tools and objective observations, it claims to be able to come to conclusions about the real world!

    The points were clearly made in the comparative embryology images I linked!

    It is easy to recognise theological arguments, by the sheer lack of understanding of the biology, and the semantic shuffles and circularity of the arguments, which lack any evidenced substance, but are rich in unsupported assertions!

    It’s like the story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.
    If you gave a child a set of pictures of a man, a woman, a dog, a boy, a girl, and a zygote, and asked them to pick out the human beings, they could tell you the correct four!

    It’s only theists trying to glue their dogmatic circular arguments on to biology, who talk nonsense, and deny the obvious differences in size, appearance, structure, tissue types etc. between bunches of cells and functioning human bodies.



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  • “Sounds like there is genetic material supplied by ten different people.”

    I thought this was only the case for the experiments. I had assumed the eventual commercial application would only involve cells from the expectant couple, but if cells from human embryos is required, clearly they would not, could not be related.

    Spot on. You know how to ask the right questions.



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  • I’m guessing that’s what the primordial germ cells are for? I haven’t read too much on mitochondrial dna andwhat role it plays, but I guessing you need it.

    Imagine being able to change genes, in yourself, with a thought…



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  • Doug Mar 5, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    “Sounds like there is genetic material supplied by ten different people.”

    I thought this was only the case for the experiments. I had assumed the eventual commercial application would only involve cells from the expectant couple, but if cells from human embryos is required, clearly they would not, could not be related.

    As I understand the experiments, all the genetic material is from the expectant couple, and the material from other embryos is just emptied egg shells. – Hence my comment about analogous wrapping of a ” birthday present” in an old box!



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  • Doug Mar 5, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    “Most people could not tell a zygote from one species from another!”

    And this is relevant because…?

    It is pretty obviously relevant, when they are pontificating on the subject and have no idea what they are talking about!

    It is in fact irrelevant, because it is possible for many people, with the right knowledge and tools, to tell one zygote species from another.

    If they had the right knowledge and tools, they would probably not be making silly claims that the first 2 stages are “human beings”, illustrating their ignorance of biology and lack of objective observational capabilities.

    (Even without the knowledge or tools, all it would take is to observe its development . . . . . . . .

    Really! Have another look at the link!
    http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/04/2/pdf/l_042_03.pdf The images in first 4 stages on page 3, suggest otherwise!



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  • @OP- SCIENTISTS have shown for the first time that it is possible to make human egg and sperm cells using skin from two adults of the same sex.

    The breakthrough raises the prospect of the first fully “manufactured” baby made in a laboratory dish from the skin cells of two adults of the same gender.

    The team has compared the engineered germ cells with natural human stem cells taken from aborted human foetuses to check that the artificially created versions of the cells had identical characteristics.

    So it looks like the foetus cells were used as a check and a control, along with some analysis and sampling with no DNA included in the stem cells derived from skin cells.

    I am not sure if the replacement of a nucleus as is done in some in-vitro processes would apply here, but there does not seem to be a suggestion of embryonic cell DNA being used in the actual process of creating the stem cells.

    “We have also discovered that one of the things that happens in these germ cells is that epigenetic mutations, the cell mistakes that occur with age, are wiped out,” said Surani, who was involved in research that led to the birth of Louise Brown, the world’s first test-tube baby, in 1978.

    That means the cell is regenerated and reset, so while the rest of the cells in the body have aged and contain genetic mistakes, these ones don’t. We can’t say no mutations are passed on, but mostly it doesn’t happen.”



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