Scientists have created mice with no biological mother by transforming skin cells from a male mouse into an egg, potentially allowing gay male couples to have biological children.
The results of the experiment were presented at the Third International Summit on Human Genome Editing at the Francis Crick Institute in London, and The Times reported that it could eventually “pave the way for gay men to have children related to both parents.”
The experiment, directed by Katsuhiko Hayashi of Japan’s Kyushu University, represents a significant advancement over previous research, which produced 12 mice derived solely from male parents who were born with breathing difficulties and did not survive long.
This time, researchers attempted 600 implants, and produced just seven mice — but all seven appeared to grow up healthy and have children of their own.
“This is the first case of making robust mammal oocytes [egg cells] from male cells,” Hayashi said in London.
“Purely in terms of technology, it will be possible [in humans] even in 10 years,” the scientist said, adding that he did know whether male-derived eggs would “available for reproduction” — though he reportedly said he was in favour of men making use of the procedure provided it was proven safe.
“That is not a question just for the scientific programme, but also for [society],” he added.