In the not-so-distant future, research suggests, eggs and sperm may no longer be needed to make a baby — at least not in the traditional way. In 2016, scientists in Japan revealed the birth of mice from eggs made from a parent’s skin cells, and many researchers believe the technique could one day be applied to humans.
The process, called in vitro gametogenesis, allows eggs and sperm to be created in a culture dish in the lab. Adult cells, such as skin cells, can be reprogrammed to behave like embryonic stem cells and are then known as induced pluripotent stem cells. These cells can be stimulated to grow into eggs or sperm, which in turn are used to form an embryo for implantation into an adult womb.
Though most scientists agree we’re still a long way off from doing it clinically, it’s a promising technology that has the potential to replace traditional in vitro fertilization to treat infertility.Continue Reading