Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Cells, Microbes & Viruses => Topic started by: Larry Williams on 11/04/2010 11:30:04

Title: Can stem cells from either gender become sperm or eggs?
Post by: Larry Williams on 11/04/2010 11:30:04
Larry Williams asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Dr Karl referred me to you as he feels he is a generalist and Chris would be able to answer my question better.

Last year Stanford University in California created Germ cells from Embryonic Stem cells.  The logical conclusion is that the next step would be to create sperm or egg cells.

My question then is, "Are germ cells gender specific (ie a germ cell from a man is not the same as a germ cell from a woman) or is a germ cell a germ cell a germ cell?" Meaning that at some point in the future could it be possible to take a stem cell from a man and create an egg cell or take a stem cell from a woman and create a sperm cell?

So are we one step closer to test tube babies for gay and lesbian couples.  

Of course a lesbian couple can only have girl off spring and a gay couple would require a surrogate to hold the zygote, but could have a boy or girl.  

The only questioned they'd have is: Who's your daddy?

What do you think?
Title: Can stem cells from either gender become sperm or eggs?
Post by: RD on 11/04/2010 14:02:52
Apparently something similar has been done with mice, (rather inefficiently) ...

Quote
A mammal that is the daughter of two female parents has been created for the first time.

Until now such a feat had been considered biologically impossible. But the mouse, called Kaguya, was born without the involvement of any sperm or male cell - only female eggs were needed.

Kaguya and one sister were the only live animals resulting from 457 reconstructed eggs.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn4909-virgin-birth-mammal-rewrites-rules-of-biology.html
Title: Can stem cells from either gender become sperm or eggs?
Post by: Variola on 12/04/2010 12:52:15
Larry Williams asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Dr Karl referred me to you as he feels he is a generalist and Chris would be able to answer my question better.

Last year Stanford University in California created Germ cells from Embryonic Stem cells.  The logical conclusion is that the next step would be to create sperm or egg cells.

My question then is, "Are germ cells gender specific (ie a germ cell from a man is not the same as a germ cell from a woman) or is a germ cell a germ cell a germ cell?" Meaning that at some point in the future could it be possible to take a stem cell from a man and create an egg cell or take a stem cell from a woman and create a sperm cell?

So are we one step closer to test tube babies for gay and lesbian couples. 

Of course a lesbian couple can only have girl off spring and a gay couple would require a surrogate to hold the zygote, but could have a boy or girl. 

The only questioned they'd have is: Who's your daddy?

What do you think?


Very good question.

Lets hope Chris can answer this one soon!