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Science & Technology

Scientists create healthy mice with two mothers

By T.K. Randall
October 12, 2018 · Comment icon 18 comments

The mice were born to two mothers and no father. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Rama
The breakthrough could eventually make it possible for human same-sex couples to have their own children.
While mice with same-sex parents have been born before, previous efforts were only able to produce animals with severe defects that didn't live very long.

This time though, the offspring were not only healthy but were even able to have offspring of their own.

The research, which was carried out by Wei Li and colleagues at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, sought to answer the long-running question of why mammals require equal genetic contributions from both a mother and father in order to create a viable offspring.
Some other species, such as hammerhead sharks and komodo dragons, can reproduce without requiring any genetic contribution from a father.

In mammals, the most significant hurdle to same-sex reproduction lies in what is known as 'imprinting' - a phenomenon in which only a certain number of genes from the mother and a certain number of genes from the father are ever switched on.

To overcome this, scientists used CRISPR gene editing to make some of the genetic material from the two female parents more 'male' in terms of its imprinting pattern.

"The authors have made an extremely important step forward in understanding why mammals can only reproduce sexually," said Christophe Galichet from the The Francis Crick Institute in London.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (18)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by Calibeliever 6 years ago
I don't know, I always just thought of it as just "being alright" with who/what everybody is. None of my gay friends want me to be gay, they just want to live in a world where it's ok for them to be. But what do I know? I'm old and most of this goes over my head these days. I see the push and the push back getting ratcheted the last few years and it just looks like two sides of the same coin to me. I don't remember there being so much animosity on either side decades ago. Personally, I subscribe to the creed of "do what you want as long as it's not on my lawn". I don't have to like it, but I... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by rodentraiser 6 years ago
My sainted aunt! First of all, the world is a MUCH better place today than it was even 40 years ago. The only people who liked it better in the "good old days" are old, white males. Secondly, feminism isn't about women trying to be masculine. It's about CHOICE. If a woman chooses to be single, child free, and support herself with a job, that's fine. If another woman chooses to be a traditional stay-at-home mom, that's fine, too. What's important is that a woman can choose to be either one. I personally don't think women are weak, but I sure see a lot of men who would like them to be. And some ... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by XenoFish 6 years ago
Feminism in its current state is about man hating. Self empowerment through victim status. Gender isn't fluid. Identity can be. Sexual preferences can be. The equipment you're born with is your gender. Hermaphrodite get to choose. 
Comment icon #12 Posted by Trenix 6 years ago
I don't think hermaphrodites do. They tend to be more of another gender than the other. I believe the doctor, who is qualified of making that choice, actually makes that determination.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Trenix 6 years ago
Wrong, many women would want to sit at home and take care of their own children. My wife is one of them. Men generally don't, they want to provide for the family. Genders still do it today, women get partime or don't work, while majority of men work, mostly fulltime. This is why feminist make up this lie of a gender gap, it's choice and biological differences that account for it. It's not real, if a women wants to make more than a man, they can and will. However, the fact of the matter is, they generally don't want to. That's their choice. Facts:   Notice ... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by rodentraiser 6 years ago
If something isn't right physically, what makes you think mentally things are always OK? How do you know that when someone is born, they aren't born with a different perception of a gender in their mind that their physical gender doesn't match? Why does everything have to be seen before it's considered authentic. You can't see depression, but nobody invalidates that diagnosis anymore. It wasn't too long ago that everyone thought all women wanted to fulfill themselves by having babies and not wanting to have a baby was a mental aberration. It would be incredibly stupid in this day and age to ju... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by rodentraiser 6 years ago
As I said, if women want to stay home and take care of children, that's fine. My own mother was a happy stay-at-home mother. But why should I have to stay at home and have children I don't want just because other women like that life? It's not about making more than a man working at the same job. It's about making equal what a man makes working at the same job. I understand what you're saying about women working part-time, or not being able to give the job their full attention if they're a mother (even though men are never questioned about it when they're fathers). But here's the thing: that a... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by rodentraiser 6 years ago
I should have said, not all feminists hate men. It's been a long day.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Trenix 6 years ago
Who is saying you should? Who is preventing you from living that lifestyle? No one honestly cares. I've seen more feminist push women to live that lifestyle you want, than seeing any stay-home women push feminists to sit home and take care of the kids. You can live how you want. I may not agree with it, nor do I think it's part of the norm, but you're free to do what you want. Your movement however, is senseless. It has no direction or real purpose. Whether you're fighting for equality that already exists, being agaisnt an evil pay gap that is based on a lie, or asking for choice which most wo... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by rodentraiser 6 years ago
By your standards, then, we shouldn't have any female police officers because it's dangerous. Just the fact that we do have them, and no one is calling them out because of their strength, would say you were wrong. By the way, I'm watching the show jumping on YouTube and equestrian show jumping is the one sport where women and men compete on equal levels. It appears even the weakest women can control the strongest horse, although I wouldn't call those women weak by any stretch. I hear what you're saying about how I should get equal pay for equal work. The key word there is "should". Unfortunate... [More]

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