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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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closed as primarily opinion-based by MattDMo, kmm, AliceD, WYSIWYG Aug 26 '16 at 10:42

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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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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