Scientists from China breed healthy mice from two females



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2018-10-13 15:42:12

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Scientists from China breed healthy mice from two females

This image shows a bipaternal mouse pup born to two fathers.

The scientists conducting the study, published in the journal Cell Stem Cell Thursday, said they were interested in answering why some reptiles, fish and amphibians can reproduce with one parent of the same sex, but others cannot.

The genes were removed using CRISPR Cas9, a tool that experts say has the potential to save countless lives and billions of dollars but has raised serious ethical questions about the future of genetic research.

The idea of "designer babies" -- in which parents can choose genetic traits -- is one example, but some have warned that editing individual human genes could affect the gene pool in future generations and carry unintended consequences.

What is CRISPR Cas9 gene editing?

Scientists say that despite the potential of the latest study, the technology just isn't ready for practical application.

"The tremendous amount of genetic modification needed in order to do what they (Chinese researchers) did, makes it implausible to use it in anything other than research," said Dr. Tim Hore, an expert in epigenetics and development at the University of Otago.

"To consider exploring similar technology for human application in the near future is implausible," said Dusko Ilic, Reader in Stem Cell Science at King's College London. "The risks of severe abnormalities is too high, and it would take years of research in various animal models to fully understand how this could be done safely."

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