Scientists have created mice with two fathers – raising the possibility of gay couples having children who are genetically their own.
In experiments hailed as a ‘new form of mammalian reproduction’, American researchers used a complex series of steps to engineer ‘male eggs’ to be carried by female mice.
The creatures were then mated with normal males – leading to the creation of pups with two fathers.
The geneticists behind the controversial technique said it could potentially be used to improve livestock breeds or preserve endangered species. More provocatively, they claim that if the technique can be refined, ‘someday two men could produce their own genetic sons and daughters’.
But critics say such a scenario would sideline women from the creation of life – and a child’s health and wellbeing should always take precedence over an adult’s desire to be a parent, however strong.
The researchers from the MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Texas started by using a complicated series of steps to create ‘male eggs’.
They began with a male mouse, Father A, and used a sample of his skin to create stem cells – ‘master cells’ capable of turning into many other cell types. They then grew the stem cells over and over in a dish until some naturally lost their male Y chromosome.
‘someday two men could produce their own genetic sons and daughters’
Thus creating more fodder for Jeremy Kyle and Springer shows