London, Europe Brief News – Scientists in Japan have reportedly created mice with two biological fathers — with the hope to replicate the process in humans.
While such a feat was possible before with genetic engineering, multiple outlets reported that the researchers were able to grow the egg cells using the skin cells of two male mice.
According to The Guardian, scientists manipulated the genetic code of stem cells created from the male mice to create mature eggs, which were then fertilized and implanted into a surrogate mouse, birthing seven pups (out of 630 transferred embryos, Nature journal reported).
Research director Katsuhiko Hayashi, of Kyushu University and Osaka University, presented the findings (which have not yet been published) at the Third International Summit on Human Genome Editing this week, per Nature journal, telling attendees that this fertilization process could be replicated for same-sex couples in the future.
“I don’t know whether they’ll be available for reproduction,” Hayashi said, according to The Guardian. “Purely in terms of technology, it will be possible [in humans] even in 10 years.”
Despite the seemingly optimistic breakthrough, several experts have criticized whether this fertilization process could actually be replicated in humans within a decade.
University of California, Los Angeles, professor Amander Clark told the publication that achieving such a feat would be a “huge leap” in the field considering scientists still have not been able to successfully create lab-grown human eggs from female cells.