We are speeding toward a time when human skin cells or embryonic stem cells could be morphed into creating new life, according to researchers in Cambridge, raising the prospect of making sex cells that are genetically matched to patients. Researchers claim that this has never been done because it is against British law to use artificial sperm and eggs to treat infertile couples.
Azim Surani who led the research said that they can now “take any embryonic stem cell line, put them into proper conditions and make primordial cells in five to six days.” The cells may hold the secrets for treating age-related diseases, erasing epigenetic mutations, screening anti-cancer drugs to prevent damage to sperm, and treating male infertility in as little as five years.
Viewed through a microscope, the artificial sperm have heads and tails and swim like normal sperm which biologist Karim Nayernia is convinced would be capable of fertilizing eggs and creating babies. He says that more safety checks are needed but plans to apply for permission to use some of the artificial sperm to fertilize eggs for research purposes.
Professor Nayernia admitted that this technique could potentially be applied to skin cells taken from men who had been dead for many years, allowing them to father children. “This is the Jurassic Park scenario. In theory this would be possible…”
In time scientists are hoping they will be able to create eggs from a woman’s stem cells raising the possibility of artificial eggs and artificial sperm combined to create life through artificial means. They already have developed an artificial womb. Is the brave new world to be populated with hatcheries to gratify the lifestyle wants of parents?
I thought it was outrageous when British scientists announced they had developed a three parent baby technique. Does no one see the potential for abuse? What about the children or do they no longer matter in a godless world?
“To take a viable human embryo and destroy it in a bid to create dodgy sperm to create a not-so-healthy embryo is experimentation for experimentation’s sake. Infertility is an issue we have to address but this is not an ethical solution. If the solution involves the sacrifice of human life, then it should be apparent to anyone that it is unacceptable.” Josephine Quintavalle