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Future babies with two fathers..!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Recently an article was published by the Science daily. Which explains a research finding by reproductive scientists in Texas, led by Dr. Richard R. Behringer at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

They produced some female as well as male mice, without involving the mother chromosomes. 
The experiment was carried out among two generations.Before going to the details let me tell you some facts about our birth.
The chromosomes which is provided by both father and mother will decide the gender of the child. Whether it is female or male. There are X and Y chromosomes. The one with XY will be the male and the other one with XX or XO (in human it is rare and the one will be infertile). So always the Y will be contributed by the male, that is the male chromosomes  decide the child's sex. So usaually the one pair of X will come from the mother and either X or Y chromosome from the father,that is Figure Number 1
Figure Number 1

Now what the current researcher did is with out having any X chromosomes from the mother, they reproduced male as well as female offspring from the male chromosomes. That is both the X as well as Y they took from two males. So now we can move to the experiment.

First stage:

The scientists manipulated fibroblasts(the one which produce extracellular matrix and collagen and from there the stem cells can arise) from a male (XY) mouse fetus to produce an induced pluripotent stem cell(iPS). About 1% of these iPS cell colonies grown from this XY cell line spontaneously lose Y and become XO.This iPS with XO chromosomes will inject to the blastocytes (Undifferentiated cells resulting from cleavage of a fertilized egg. Inside the intact zona pellucida, each cleavage yields two blastomeres of about half size of the parent cell. Up to the 8-cell stage, all of the blastomeres are totipotent. The 16-cell MORULA contains outer cells and inner cells.;Undifferentiated embryonic cells, a term mostly used in foreign literature.)from a donor female mice.The treated blastocytes further transplanted to surrogate mothers (carrier of implanted embryo). They gave birth to female XO/XX chimeras(animals that have two or more different populations of genetically distinct cells) having one X chromosome from the original male mouse fibroblast.

Second stage:
They mate the female chimeras(XX,)with a normal male mouse(XY). Then they got female and male mice with both X and Y chromosomes from the male mice. That is,                Figure Number 2

Through the words of the scientists:

The achievement of two-father offspring in a species of mammal could be a step toward preserving endangered species, improving livestock breeds, and advancing human assisted reproductive technology (ART). It also opens the provocative possibility of same-sex couples having their own genetic children, the researchers note.

According to the authors, "Our study exploits iPS cell technologies to combine the alleles from two males to generate male and female progeny, i.e. a new form of mammalian reproduction."
The technique described in this study could be applied to agriculturally important animal species to combine desirable genetic traits from two males without having to outcross to females with diverse traits.
Danger behind it (a sort of male domination):
"It is also possible that one male could produce both oocytes and sperm for self-fertilization to generate male and female progeny," the scientists point out. Such a technique could be valuable for preserving species when no females remain.
In the future, it may also be possible to generate human oocytes from male iPS cells in vitro. Used in conjunction with in vitro fertilization, this would eliminate the need for female XO/XX chimeras, although a surrogate mother would still be needed to carry the two-father pregnancy to term.
Using a variation of the iPS technique, the researchers say "it may also be possible to generate sperm from a female donor and produce viable male and female progeny with two mothers."
The authors also caution that the "generation of human iPS cells still requires significant refinements prior to their use for therapeutic purposes."

For the original article please click the following link:;_ylt=Ama96aJN_8OBNZEbYHcE2nwPLBIF;_ylu=X3oDMTM3bm1nNGVuBGFzc2V0A2xpdmVzY2llbmNlLzIwMTAxMjEzL21vdXNlYmFieWloYXZldHdvZGFkZGllcwRwb3MDMTYEc2VjA3luX2FydGlj


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