Home / Fall 2015 / 2015-10-01 / Weekly Weird: Gene altering allows two men to concieve

Weekly Weird: Gene altering allows two men to concieve

Photo Illustration: Kayla Stroud/THE SPECTATOR

Written by Jordan Barela, Editor-in-Chief

Who says only a man and a woman can conceive a baby anymore?

According to a paper published in Cell, a research paper publisher, two men could possibly be able to have a baby together in the near future.

No, men will not be able to physically carry a baby for nine months (a few women may grumble after reading).

What does make it possible is manipulating primordial germ cells, as the paper illustrates the process.

Unless you are a scientific scholar, research papers are a difficult task to read; ifls.com broke it down.

The way that two men would be able to conceive a child is by manipulating a gene called “SOX”. “SOX” is a type of primordial germ cell, as stated earlier. These cells are what determine if either eggs or sperm is produced. The paper discusses that a SOX gene called “SOX17”. Altering this gene could change the fate of those cells.

The plot thickens.

The possible process would be to take primordial gene cells from Male Number 1, manipulating that nifty “SOX17” gene to make them into oocytes.  Because a male cell has all the relevant info, in theory, the resulting egg cell will be functional. Male Number 2 would then need to provide a sperm sample to inseminate the egg. If successful, the male egg would have DNA from both men. However, a surrogate is needed to actually carry the baby.

This would be amazing for same sex couples.

But of course, something like this could not be seen as ethical. The term “designer babies” comes to mind.  This could also cause gay male couples to face even more stigma. Some already frown on the mere thought of same-sex couples raising kids, and this could only push that prejudice to the max.

While this would be remarkable for gay male couples, the world isn’t ready for all the fabulousness of a child biologically having two fathers.

 

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