01 February 2008

We Are All Hermaphrodites Now

It is possible to take a man's bone marrow cells and make sperm from them. Scientists in England now plan to make sperm from a woman's bone marrow cells. In Brazil, scientists claim to have made both sperm and eggs from male mouse embryonic stem cells. Putting it all together, scientists should soon be able to produce any number of sperm AND egg cells from any given person--male or female! We are all hermaphrodites, now.
According to New Scientist magazine, the scientists want to take stem cells from a woman donor's bone marrow and transform them into sperm through the use of special chemicals and vitamins.

Newcastle professor Karim Nayernia has applied for permission to carry out the work and is ready to start the experiments within two months.

The biologist, who pioneered the technique with mice, believes early- stage 'female sperm' could be produced inside two years. Mature sperm capable of fertilising eggs might take three more years....Early-stage sperm have already been produced from male bone marrow.

Taking stem cells from an adult donor - possibly a cancer patient - removes the ethical problems associated with using embryos....Greg Aharonian, a U.S. analyst who is trying to patent the technologies behind female sperm and male eggs, said he wants to undermine the argument that heterosexual marriage is superior because it is aimed at procreation. "I'm a troublemaker," he said.

Researchers at the Butantan Institute in Brazil, meanwhile, claim to have turned embryonic stem cells from male mice into both sperm and eggs. They are now working on skin cells....If their experiments succeed, the stage would be set for a gay man to donate skin cells that could be used to make eggs.

These could then be fertilised by his partner's sperm and placed into the womb of a surrogate mother.___DailyMail

You see the catch, right? While a lesbian woman can gestate and give birth to the biological offspring of her and her female partner, for gay males to give birth to their offspring, they require a surrogate mother. What is missing from this picture? An artificial womb, correct?

Perhaps it is enough for now, to be able to provide the choice for two men or two women to create a new human life between them. In fact, one woman could provide both sperm and eggs, gestate the fetus, and give birth. Again, one man will be able to provide both sperm and eggs, but still requires a surrogate mother. But that would be inbreeding, perhaps even a weird, previously undiscovered form of incest?

Well, think about it. Fertilisation clinics will likely not offer the option for several years yet, and you may have to go to a third world clinic to have the procedure performed. For the lesbian or gay couple who otherwise have everything, this may provide a form of "normalcy" that has been missing. For the husband with low sperm count or the man who is post-vasectomy but now wants children, this opens new possibilities. For the woman past menopause, who still wants a child, this sets the biological clock back. And for the narcissistic megalomaniac who is too selfish to create a clone, the option of being both father and mother to a child may solve the problem of propagation without partners.

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Blogger Snake Oil Baron said...

I seem to recall that here in Canada you are not allowed to pay someone money for their sperm or eggs. This limits certain fertility options for couples but was designed to make our anti-materialist left-winger citizens and supernaturalist adherents feel assured that "human dignity" was not for sale. The right to decide what fertility options you want to pursue is not, apparently, included in the concept of human dignity.

But law excreters need to be quick these days to keep up with and suppress the innovation and determination of the human spirit.

Saturday, 02 February, 2008  
Blogger al fin said...

If you have your own garage bio-lab where you can take skin cells and make sperm and eggs out of them--maybe augment them for "super-babies", there isn't much the regulators can do about it.

When you add artificial wombs to your assortment of bio machines, you can almost start your own micro-country.

Saturday, 02 February, 2008  

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