Hmm. Here’s a quote from an interesting story in The Independent by Steve Connor, the science editor:
Women might soon be able to produce sperm in a development that could allow lesbian couples to have their own biological daughters, according to a pioneering study published today.
Scientists are seeking ethical permission to produce synthetic sperm cells from a woman’s bone marrow tissue after showing that it possible to produce rudimentary sperm cells from male bone-marrow tissue.
The researchers said they had already produced early sperm cells from bone-marrow tissue taken from men. They believe the findings show that it may be possible to restore fertility to men who cannot naturally produce their own sperm.
But the results also raise the prospect of being able to take bone-marrow tissue from women and coaxing the stem cells within the female tissue to develop into sperm cells, said Professor Karim Nayernia of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Creating sperm from women would mean they would only be able to produce daughters because the Y chromosome of male sperm would still be needed to produce sons. The latest research brings the prospect of female-only conception a step closer.
So that means if Jesus had been “born of a virgin,” he’d actually be a girly-god, huh? So much for patriarchal monotheism!
The story is actually interesting to me because of all the talk of ethics in human reproduction today.
The story concludes with these paragraphs:
Whether the scientists will ever be able to develop the techniques to help real patients – male or female – will depend on future legislation that the Government is preparing as a replacement to the existing Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act.
A White Paper on genetics suggested that artificial gametes produced from the ordinary “somatic” tissue of the body may be banned from being used to fertilise human eggs by in vitro fertilisation.
Why would it be any less ethnical to create a child from a sperm produced this way than it is through “regular” in vitro fertilization? Personally, I think it’s borderline immoral to bring children into the world right now anyway, with the population fast approaching 6,525,170,264 and quite a bit of uncertainty about whether food and water supplies can keep up with future population growth, particularly as the life span is getting longer (at least in most industrialized nations), and global warming will be destroying human habitat (at least in most non-industrialized nations).