Like a Virgin, Reproducing for the Very First Time
The Roslin Institute, yep - the folks that first brought you Dolly the cloned sheep, is at it again. They report at a Dublin conference that they have been able to get a human egg to divide without the aid of fertilization via male sperm.
Scientists have been able to create what's called parthenogenesis, or 'virgin birth.' Parthenogenesis naturally occurs with plants, insects, and some species of lizards. In essence, it's asexual reproduction. The female's eggs simply divide, become embryos, and grow up to be fatherless beings. Earlier experiments included mice, and then monkeys...often with abnormal embryos. Gee....ya think? Now they're doing it with human eggs.
Now the next question...WHY?
Stem cell research is crucial in discovering cures for various diseases such as Parkinson's. Currently, in order for doctors to harvest embryonic stem cells, the embryo must first develop until it reaches the blastycyst stage - which is made up of 100 cells. Dr. De Sousa of the Institute reports that they have only been able to produce embryos via parthenogenesis with 50 cells - but he believes they will soon be able to create these "fatherless" embryos with the necessary amount of cells to extract stem cells.
If they are able to do so, this would allow scientists to conduct their experiments to find these cures without having to take them from full fledged embryos - embryos from fertilized eggs. Working from conventional stem cells remains a heated controversy worldwide, and the Institute hopes to sidestep this controversy by using stem cells from asexual embryos.
Ha, fat chance!
Pro-Life and other groups are outraged at these experiments, calling them "Frankenstein-ish." Simply put, doctor's are messing with science they cannot fully understand.
So how do scientists do it?
Normally, the female human egg ejects half of it genetic material to make room for the male sperm's genes. Instead, scientists shock the egg with a little electricity to spark the female egg to start dividing by itself. No need for fertilization...no need for sperm.
I see this development as truly terrible for men everywhere. What if scientists further develop this technology? Eventually sperm won't be necessary for conception???? EH GADS! They would be taking away the only thing females need us for! Nooooooooooooooooo! Earth would become a true Amazonian planet. Maybe they'll keep us men around as pets for sheer entertainment and torture.
Out of work sperm cells
Put's a new meaning on the song:
Sisters are doin' it for themselves