Could Biological Same Sex Parenting Become a Reality?


Researchers at Cambridge University have discovered that it is possible to create a baby using the skin cells of two adults of the same gender, meaning that it may be possible for same sex couples of have biological children together.

The Cambridge University Researchers teamed with Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science to release a study funded by the Wellcome Trust and published on the website Cell.

The researchers paired stem cell lines from embryos with the skin of different adults. A similar study conducted on mice was successful in creating live offspring, but this is the first human equivalent.

According to the study, stem cells and adult human skin from ten different donors were used and new germ-cell lines were created from all the experiments. The researchers stated that the SOX17 gene is critical in the “reprogramming” process of human cells.

Azim Surani, professor of physiology and reproduction at Cambridge, told the Sunday Times that the study was a significant breakthrough: “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,” he said.

Jacob Hanna, the specialist leading the project’s Israeli arm, told the Sunday Times: “It has already caused interest from gay groups because of the possibility of making egg and sperm cells from parents of the same sex.”

The team compared the engineered stem cells with human cells from foetuses to make sure their characteristics were identical. Researchers estimate that same sex couples may be able to produce biological children within two years.

OIP Staff

Image: YAY Micro

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