Wednesday, February 25th, 2015
Designer babies? Three-parent babies? Here’s what’s next: two-dad (or mom) babies from stem cells.
A team of scientists have reached an incredible breakthrough—they have successfully created identical human egg and sperm cells from the stem cells of human skin, regardless of gender.
This new technique can be used as IVF treatments to solve fertility problems for couples, especially same-sex couples. “While this breakthrough could help men and women who have been rendered infertile by disease, gay groups have also expressed hope that this project will eventually lead to the creation of children made from same-sex parents,” reports Medical Daily.
In addition, the technique can solve certain age-related diseases, or epigenetic mutations, because cells that form sperm and eggs cells do not contain these mutations.
The use of stem cells to create egg and sperm cells builds on a previous study that was published by lead researcher Dr. Azim Surani and his team last year, when they converted mice skin cells into germ cells (a step toward egg and sperm cells). And it’s likely that the procedure may be introduced within two years—although moral and ethical arguments will undoubtedly be raised.
This news comes right on the heels of Britain’s decision to allow the three-parent baby IVF technique, making Britain the first official country to do so in the world. The first baby using the technique — also know as mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT) — will be born in 2016.
Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter:@CAITYstjohn
Image: Couple with child via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, January 29th, 2014
The Disney Channel has introduced a lesbian couple who are parents to a child named Taylor on the show “Good Luck Charlie,” featuring same-sex parents for the first time on the network. More from Jezebel.com:
“This particular storyline was developed under the consultancy of child development experts and community advisors,” a Disney Channel spokesperson [said in June, when the decision was first announced]. “Like all Disney Channel programming, it was developed to be relevant to kids and families around the world and to reflect themes of diversity and inclusiveness.”
The conservative parenting organization One Million Moms has posted a statement disagreeing with Disney’s decision, stating in part:
Disney should stick to entertaining instead of pushing an agenda. Disney decided to be politically correct versus providing family-friendly programming. Disney has a choice whether to produce a program with certain fictional characters; the storyline could be re-written or changed. Conservative families need to urge Disney to exclude confusing topics that children are far too young to comprehend.
Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus, who got her start in show business on the hit Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana,” posted a tweet congratulating Disney for its decision: “I commend Disney for making this step into the light of this generation,” she said.
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Thursday, March 28th, 2013
Jenna Wolfe, the weekend anchor for NBC’s Today Show, has made two big announcements this week–that she is a lesbian in a relationship with NBC News correspondent Stephanie Gosk, and that Wolfe is expecting the couple’s first child, a girl, in August. More from PEOPLE.com:
“This is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to us,” the Today weekend anchor tells PEOPLE exclusively in its new issue. “But I don’t want to bring my daughter into a world where I’m not comfortable telling everyone who I am and who her mother is.”
“The beauty is that we live in a time where there’s no need for secrecy,” Gosk, 40, adds. “This is a spectacular moment for us.”
Together for three years, the pair began discussing starting a family and after deciding Wolfe would carry the child, underwent artificial insemination with an anonymous donor.
Image: Jenna Wolfe and Stephanie Gosk, via NBC News
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