In a recent popular science article there is a discussion of the potential disruptive technologies that could become available with in vitro gametogenesis (IVG). Using skin cells you will be able to create either sperm or eggs. Thus, using stolen cells from Brad Pitt (simpler than getting his sperm) will allow a woman to have a nonconsensual child of him. What is not mentioned in the article and thus my question: Does this technique currently allow, (at least in mice), to make sperm from a female and eggs from a male? If that is the case, what will be the result of fertilizing sperm and egg from the same individual: a clone, a genetic "sibling" (not an identical twin), or neither of them?


1 Answer 1


At present (early 2017) the answer is No.

The trick to make spermatid like cells (ie they are not real sperm cells and need to be injected into an oocyte to accomplish fertilization) from ES and iPS in a dish was just achieved last year http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/02/new-method-grows-sperm-dish

The trick to make oocyctes from stem cells is not as complete and still requires an lab grown ovary to complete the process. http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/10/mouse-egg-cells-made-entirely-lab-give-rise-healthy-offspring.

The methods above still use ES cell of the appropriate gender. Female ES cells to make oocytes. Male ES cells to make sperm. No info on female ES cells being driven to make sperm or even spermatid like cells.

That said... we have this paper http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/04/0421_040421_whoneedsmales_2.html, where a mouse is genetically engineered to produce oocytes that have imprinting patterns similar to a sperm. This genetically modified oocyte is then forced to fuse with a normal oocyte. Success rate was very low. 371 fused oocytes, 10 live births, 1 surviving to adulthood.


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