Sunday, January 04, 2015

Scientists Create Artificial Human Eggs and Sperm

Having been stumped trying to prove there's life beyond earth, mankind turns its hopes to creating life here on earth by unnatural means.

According to the journal
Cell, scientists at the University of Cambridge (UK) and the Weizmann Institute (Israel) claim to have created human germ cells — the essence of human beings — by using embryonic stem cells and adult skin cells.

For background, read God Replaced? Scientists Create Life

And read Human Embryos Cloned, Killed to Harvest Stem Cells as well as Harvesting Blood of Children for Fountain of Youth

Also read Scientists Create Sperm and thus, The Feminist's Dream: A Civilization Without Men

In addition, read President Obama's FDA: Why not Three Biological Parents?

-- From "Scientists create artificial human eggs and sperm" by Jessica Firger, CBS News 12/26/14

"Germ cells are 'immortal' in the sense that they provide an enduring link between all generations, carrying genetic information from one generation to the next," Azim Surani, PhD, professor of physiology and reproduction [of the Gurdon Institute] at the University of Cambridge, said in a press release.

. . . some cells in the fetus become primordial germ cells (PGCs) and eventually evolve into the cells of either sperm or eggs, which will allow this offspring to pass their genes on to a future generation.

In the study, the researchers identified a single gene known as SOX17, which is directly responsible for ordering human stem cells to become the cells that will turn into sperm and eggs. . . .

Many experts say that studying epigenetics may lead to a clearer understanding of age-related diseases such as cancer, since the changes lie not in the DNA itself, but rather the surrounding chemicals that make proteins and even facilitate new cell growth, including the cells that make up sperm and eggs.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Researchers create egg and sperm precursors using human embryonic stem cells" by Honor Whiteman, Medical News Today 12/29/14

"The creation of PGCs is one of the earliest events during early mammalian development," says first study author Dr. Naoko Irie, also of the Gurdon Institute at the University of Cambridge. "It's a stage we've managed to recreate using stem cells from mice and rats, but until now few researchers have done this systematically using human stem cells."

In their study, Prof. Surani and his team discovered that a gene called SOX17 plays an important role in a process called "specification" - transforming human stem cells into PGCs. Past research has found that SOX17 is involved in changing human stem cells into endodermal cells, but the gene has never before been linked to PGC specification.

The researchers found they were also able to create PGCs using reprogrammed adult cells, including skin cells. They say this process may open the door to research on patient-specific cells, which may increase understanding of infertility, the human germline and germ cell tumors.

In addition, the team says their findings may increase knowledge of how environmental factors that may affect gene activity - such as smoking or diet - can be inherited.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.
From "Infertility Treatment May Soon Include Artificial Sperm, Egg Cells Derived From Stem Cells" by Anthony Rivas, Medical Daily 12/28/14

Infertility affects more people than you might have expected. After a year of timing menstrual cycles, taking steps to boost sperm quality and count, and countless doctor’s visits, about 15 percent of couples still aren’t able to get pregnant. There are treatments, but those don’t always work either, and they sometimes end in multiple pregnancies. A new treatment for infertility may be on the horizon . . .

It’s unclear whether SOX17 can be manipulated to change these cells into sperm or egg as a fertility treatment, as more research is needed. Nevertheless, the scientists said the current findings were enough to take the research in various directions, not only with regard to infertility but also cancer and epigenetics — a field of research that investigates the effects of environmental chemicals on our genes’ expressions. In doing so, the researchers may shed light on “age-related disease, which in part might be due to cumulative epigenetic mutations,” Surani said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Artificial wombs: The coming era of motherless births" by David Warmflash (astrobiologist, physician and science writer), Genetic Literacy Project 1/4/15

A comprehensive review published by the New York Academy of Sciences three years ago highlights a series of achievements by various research groups using ex vivo (out of the body) uterus environments to support mammalian fetuses early in pregnancy. Essentially, two areas of biotechnology are developing rapidly that potentially can enable ectogenesis in humans, and, along the way, what the authors of the Academy review call partial ectogenesis.

. . . the capability to push back the limit is around the corner. One of the two developing key technologies is the artificial amniotic fluid filled environment that has continued to develop with laboratory animal models since the work with goats in the 1990s. The other area is embryo transfer. Not only can a developing mammal be transferred from the uterus of its own mother to that of a surrogate, but gradually investigators are reproducing the endometrium–the cell layer of the uterus that contains and nourishes the pregnancy–as a cell culture, or an in vitro model. The convergence of these technologies will make it possible to transfer a developing human into a system that includes the placenta and umbilical cord and supplies all consumables (oxygen and food), and removes all waste, directly through the blood.

. . . While social conservatives might be receptive about what an artificial uterus might do to the abortion paradigm, make no mistake they’d probably not be happy that the technology also stands to make it much easier for male gay couples to have babies. . . .

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE 1/31/15: From "Woman born with no womb gives birth to miracle twins" by Patrick Sawer, UK Telegraph

Hayley Haynes had the miracle babies, Avery and Darcey, after hormone therapy enabled her to grow a womb.

She was told at the age of 19 that she would never be able to give birth as she had no womb, ovaries or Fallopian tubes.

But nine years on she has given birth to the twins after IVF treatment using an egg donor.

Following months of hospital trips and blood tests, specialists told her she had been born with XY chromosomes, meaning she was genetically male. She had no reproductive organs thanks to a condition called androgen insensitivity syndrome.

The first signs of hope that Mrs Hayne’s condition might be curable came in 2007 when a new specialist at Royal Derby Hospital found a tiny womb missed on previous scans.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Type 1 Diabetics' Hope Rests in Dead Human Embryos