Research: same-sex couples could make biological babies in a few years

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An international team of scientists have shown that it is possible to create human sperm and eggs from stem cells derived from adult skin, regardless of the donor’s gender. This brings hope to same sex couples that they could one day have biological children together.

Scientists from Cambridge University in England, with funding by the Wellcome Trust and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, were able to use skin from 10 different donor sources to create new human primordial germ cells. As reported by The Sunday Times, these germ cells proved to be absolutely identical to the natural human stem cells taken from aborted fetuses.

Azim Surani, leader of the project, told The Sunday Times: “We have succeeded in the first and most important step of this process, which is to show we can make these very early human stem cells in a dish. We have also discovered that one of the things that happens in these germ cells is that epigenetic mutations, the cell mistakes that occur with age, are wiped out.”

Source: Surani A Irie N, Weinberger L, et al. SOX17 Is a Critical Specifier of Human Primordial Germ Cell Fate. Cell. 2014.