Do You Know Skin cells 'could be used to create babies'? Photo Proof

The study's lead scientist said its results challenge the "dogma" of reproduction
Physinews Reports: A landmark study has opened up the
"fanciful" possibility that babies could be
conceived from skin cells - without an egg
cell.


Using mice, a team of scientists produced
healthy offspring while bypassing the normal
process of fertilising an egg cell with sperm.

The result raises the possibility that sperm
could be fused with ordinary cells from skin
or other tissue to create embryos.

Dr Tony Perry, who led the study, said that
the finding "challenges the dogma that only
an egg cell fertilised with a sperm cell can
result in live mammalian birth".

He added that major hurdles would have to
be overcome before reproduction without egg
cells became technically feasible.

Mice were used as test subjects for the study
Dr Perry, a molecular embryologist from the
University of Bath, said: "This is speculative -
it's entirely speculative and fanciful."


In the experiment, Dr Perry's team of
scientists created "parthenogenote" mouse
embryos which were made without sperm.

The parthenogenotes were then injected with
sperm, transforming them into normal
embryos that went on to produce healthy
offspring.

The embryos were found to have undergone
"distinctive chromatin remodelling" -
meaning that the protein "packaging"
housing their DNA had been altered.

In all 30 mouse pups were born with a
success rate of 24%.

The experiment could have future implications on human fertility
Scientists believe the result is significant
because parthenogenotes share much in
common with skin cells - both multiply
through a non-sexual form of cell division
known as mitosis.

If injecting sperm into a mammalian
parthenogenote can produce offspring, it is
possible that the same result could be
achieved using mitotic cells not derived from
eggs.

Dr Perry said: "Potentially one day we might
be able to extend what we've shown in these
mitotic cells to other mitotic cells."

He added: "If it is ever possible, one day in
the distant future people will look back and
say this is where it started."

It is thought that the technique used in the
study could allow women made infertile by
cancer drugs or radiotherapy to have their
own children.

While eggs can be frozen before cancer
therapy and later fertilised in an IVF clinic,
currently nothing can be done once they
have been lost.

Dr Paul Colville-Nash, from the Medical
Research Council, said the study was "an
exciting piece of research."

He added: "It may one day even have
implications for how we treat infertility,
though that's probably still a long way off."

===>  Sky News 


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