Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
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Monday, July 10, 2006

Well, there goes one argument against my bumpersticker

I got a bumpersticker over the Fourth that says 'a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle', and one of my male friends took issue with it, explaining that women say they don't need men until, say, they want a baby (there were other arguments concerning what happens when you need a doctor or mechanic that happen to be male). Of course, I'm not avocating some man-hating Amazon thing here; I just personally don't find I need a man to be fulfilled, but I couldn't really argue against the sperm necessity.

Until now.

First live births from artificial sperm grown from embryonic stem cells. Oh, yeah, they're mice, but you know if allowed the research will eventually make it to human beings, although there is such an ethical mire associated with stem cells and fertility treatments. Here's some other possibilities, quoted from the article:

In the longer term, it may even prove possible to produce sperm from female stem cells, and eggs from male ones, allowing homosexual couples to have children that bear the genes of both parents.

This would also enable a single man or woman to provide both the sperm and eggs needed to create an embryo, so that a person could essentially mate with himself or herself."

That latter rather wigs me out, because you'd have a child with 100% of your genes but not cloned, so any defects would me much more likely to pass down, you'd think. And whereas theoretically a clone would have all the benefits and failings of the person cloned, a child conceived this way would have unpredictable traits. I certainly wouldn't do it without some major gene study/counseling.

Anyway, there's your weird science story for the day.

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