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I've been reading a lot about stem cell research and the work on growing artificial organs.

I assume, with sufficient advance in the technology, there is no theoretical reason it would not be possible to grow genital organs (gonads, uterus) in particular?

So my question is: is there any theoretical reason you could not use this process to grow the genital organs of the opposite sex of a stem cell donor?

So then, would an ovary grown from male stem cells potentially ovulate Y-gamete eggs?

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No one knows if a uterus is capable of producing so-called "Y-eggs", because in persons affected by sex chromosome abnormalities (XXX and more, XXY, X, XYY, etc.), the presence of a functional Y generally produces a male phenotype, whether or not they are sterile or have natural levels of testosterone, because the Y contains the sex-determining gene SRY and other male developmental and fertility factors. In contrast, people with only X chromosomes (regardless of the number) are generally female-appearing, with at least some development of the associated organs and structures.

A second question is whether a male-derived stem cell could be coaxed, hormonally and otherwise, to become a uterus in the first place. An X is already present, so all the purely genetic (though not necessarily epigenetic) instructions are there, but, as far as I know, the question of whether a Y would interfere with the development process has not been answered in humans.

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  • $\begingroup$ For some reason I'm having a difficult time finding information on persons with only a Y chromosome. Going back to my undergraduate days (boy, was that a long time ago), I seem to recall that they're likely non-viable, but I can't find anything now to back that up. $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Aug 24 '16 at 17:30
  • $\begingroup$ From what you say, it sounds like it would be even more of a stretch to create testicles from a woman's stem cells. $\endgroup$ – Stefanya42 Aug 25 '16 at 21:30
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenPosey correct, as women lack the necessary Y chromosome. $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Aug 25 '16 at 21:34
  • $\begingroup$ "the presence of a functional Y generally produces a male phenotype, whether or not they are sterile or have natural levels of testosterone, because the Y contains the sex-determining gen" : Did you consider chimerism arising from "vanishing twin syndrome" & the like, the guest cell lines arising from this most often take their cues from their host organism, so a male vanished twins cells can persist in a female sibling but should in no way result in a male phenotype $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Dec 17 '18 at 10:47
  • $\begingroup$ ^ further, were the larger portion of one of these colonies of cells from a male sibling to be in the ovaries of a female host there is absolutely no reason to suppose that (having "gone native" & taking all of their cues from the host body on what they're supposed to become & do) they wouldn't produce perfectly normal egg cells, half of which could be expected to carry a Y chromosome. $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Dec 17 '18 at 10:48

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