Monday, September 12, 2005

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 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


siren said...

"Maybe they'll keep us men around as pets for sheer entertainment and torture."

Ha! We're doing that already!

The Phoenix said...

Hardy har har. You might be right, but without us men, all of your VCRs and DVD players will forever be flashing 12:00 for all eternity!

Babs RN said...

If this is true, then science has certainly gone too far. Besides, I thought they had found that stem cells can be developed from human epithelial cells? That's fairly recent. need for all this.

Of course...I still need a man around at work to help with the 400# patients.

No, wait. Hold on. They make hydraulic lifts for that. Well, in that case....guess y'all are totally dispensable then!



Babs RN said...

P.S. I can program my own electronic equipment, thank you.

The Phoenix said...

Babs rn,

Epithelial cells? I told you I just work with smart people. I never said I was one of them.

By the way, can you help me program my VCR?

Babs RN said...

Of course I can! lol...
I'm sure you know my comment was tongue-in-cheek. Sort of. We could still stand to have some strong shoulders to lean on sometimes. I know I could. But that's beside the point. I responded to your comment (thanks for visiting, by the way). Check out this site (in response to your claim #3):

A lot of misogynists I know are self-proclaimed "nice guys" and whine a LOT about it. At least I do freely admit my own cynicism. ;)

SuperMoonMan said...

I'm a man and I can't program my VCR. I don't think anyone can program a VCR. I'm not sure what I think about this. What would happen if this developed into a human? I don't think I really want to know.

The Phoenix said...


The institute is not allowed to put the embryo in a woman's womb. But if they were to do so, I would imagine that fetus would end up pretty abnormal.
You mess with Mother Nature, she tends to mess with you right back. I say we leave asexual reproduction to insects and plants.

Andy Dabydeen said...

Jesus Christ!

I mean ...

Mary! Mother of god!

Andy Dabydeen said...

Ok ... to be serious for a second however, men are a bit important ...

check out the secret life of sperm. And then the biology gets really complicated.

Squatchy said...

I heard about this earlier. It made me start thinking of an all female Logan's Run.

The Phoenix said...

Logan's Run...that movie freaked me out when I was little.
That whole Carousel scene, with the people in their masks floating around and then blowing up scared the crap outta me.
Logan's Run - a movie about a utopian society where no one lives past age 30.
I probably should watch that flick again.

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