Mouse Eggs and Stem Cells, Oh My!
Sometimes, as I am perusing the days news for interesting information to amuse you with, I come across something that leaves me in shock. It doesnt happen often, but when it does, I find myself wondering just where the heck we’re heading, and I have to admit, I feel a small shiver of disappointment when I realize I may not be around long enough to find out.
For example, where do you think we’re headed with this tidbit of technology? Japanese researchers have found a way to manipulate stem cells in such a way as to be able to make “mouse eggs” that will actually produce healthy mouse offspring that are capable of reproduction themselves.
What? Does this suggest that someday we will be able to produce human eggs? If we could, would we? Should we? Here’s what this might mean, because stem cells can morph into almost any cell in the body, it would at least have life altering reproductive implications for almost anyone, of any age.
Stem cells are not without their own stigma, (as they are harvested from embryos) so its important to note that these “mouse eggs” have also been produced from something called pluripotent stem cells, which are similar to embryonic cells, but they come from adult skin, or blood cells. So where do we go from here? Is this science at its best, opening the door to life changing technology, or is this a process by which we will be changing the natural order of thins forever, and potentially turning baby making into manufacturing and human life into a commodity?
Still, it is pretty awesome I just wish I could stick around long enough to know how it all turns out.