Scientists successfully create healthy mice with two biological fathers

9 March 2023, 00:06 | Updated: 9 March 2023, 06:14

The move has been described as a major breakthrough that could pave the way for gay men to have children together
The move has been described as a major breakthrough that could pave the way for gay men to have children together. Picture: Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Healthy mice with two fathers have been successfully created by scientists in what has been described as a major breakthrough that could eventually allow for gay men to have children together.

The scientific process, which was presented at a genetics conferences in London, saw male cells turned into eggs.

It comes after scientists previously made 12 mouse pups, all of which struggled to breathe and died shortly after they were born in 2018.

In the latest research, seven mouse pups were born after 600 attempts. The seven mice remained healthy and went on to reproduce.

“This is the first case of making robust mammal oocytes [egg cells] from male cells,” scientist Katsuhiko Hayashi said in a presentation in London.

It is believed the same process could be used to treat a type of infertility in women, though scientists have cautioned there is a long way to go before it could be used in humans.

Seven mice who survived the scientific experiment went on to reproduce
Seven mice who survived the scientific experiment went on to reproduce. Picture: Alamy

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The latest research saw scientists re-programme a skin cell from a male mouse, turning it into a stem cell.

Male chromosomes are XY, meaning it could not be turned into an egg, which are female and XX.

But Mr Hayashi's team managed to remove the Y chromosome from the male skin cell and replace it with an X chromosome.

Mr Hayashi said he believed applying the process to human cells could be achieved within ten years.

“I don’t know whether they will be available for reproduction. That is not a question just for the scientific programme, but also for [society]," he told the Guardian.

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