Someday, humans will be able to make babies without needing eggs, a research carried out by scientists at Nature Communications suggests.
The landmark research saw the scientists create a healthy baby mouse by tricking an unfertilised egg into becoming a pseudo-embryo (which shares much in common with an ordinary cell).
The research posits that it might be possible for ordinary body cells to produce healthy babies when they are fertilised.
The scientists, from the University of Bath, opined that if the injection of sperm into mouse could produce healthy babies, then there is a strong likelihood that similar result could be generated in humans.
“This is the first time that anyone has been able to show that anything other than an egg can combine with a sperm in this way to give rise to offspring”, Tony Perry, a doctor who’s one of the researchers, told BBC.
He added that the research had shattered nearly 200 years of thinking while noting that in the distant future, “it might be possible that ordinary cells in the body can be combined with a sperm so that an embryo is formed”.
A research put out earlier in the year revealed that China was able to make sperm from stem cells, which was used to fertilise an egg that developed into healthy mice.
Perry explained that if both fields of research were combined, they may achieve a stituation where there might be no need for sperm and eggs altogether.
“I think it is a very interesting paper, and a technical tour de force and I am sure it will tell us something important about reprogramming at these early steps of development that are relevant to both fertilisation and single cell nuclear transfer [cloning]”, said Robin Lovell-Badge, a professor from the Francis Crick Institute.
“And, perhaps more broadly, about reprogramming of cell fate in other situations. It doesn’t yet tell us how, but the paper gives a number of clear pointers”, he added.