Researchers at Cambridge University have taken the first steps towards creating artificial sperm and eggs by reprogramming skin cells from adults and converting them into embryonic-like stem cells. The team then compared the engineered stem cells with human cells from fetuses to confirm they were in fact, identical.
The same researchers will now attempt to complete the process by creating fully developed artificial sperm and eggs, either in a dish or by implanting them in a rodent. Once this is achieved, the technique could become useful for any individual with fertility problems, he said, including couples of the same sex.
“It has already caused interest from gay groups because of the possibility of making egg and sperm cells from parents of the same sex,” Dr. Jacob Hanna, an investigator with the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, told ABC News.
However, the prospect of creating a baby by these artificial means alone is probably a long way off, Hanna said.
via ABC News