Sperm, Glorious Sperm.


If you thought the conservative Christians were going nuts over gay marriage and adoption, the recent discovery that human sperm and eggs can be created from stem cells will be on their agenda. Why? Well, in addition to introducing a huge set of ethical issues regarding the creation of human life, it may be possible that this discovery will allow gay couples to one day produce children that are genetically their own.

Medical ethicist: “It opens new and challenging possibilities: because the technique can be used to generate eggs from a man’s (adult) cells, gay couples could have children genetically related to both. These possibilities raise new questions about how we define parenthood and about how we decide who has access to these new technologies.”

You can be sure the conservative Christians will do everything in their power to stop this from happening!

On a sperm-related note, check out this entertaining little animation advertising the Europride Festival in Oslo this week.


  1. says

    Interesting. I’m sure the argument raised against will be some absurd tripe like ‘the human race will be in danger if gays reproduce using evil science’. Essentially, I don’t see that it would be that different from the current system, where surrogate mothers are used to bear children for couples that can’t conceive on their own (infertile heterosexual couples and gays). The complex issue will have to do with the genetics of combining two Y chromosones together to make a reproducible nucleas somehow..and the potential ethical/safety issues arising from this – will the genetics/dna be stable?

  2. Mitch says

    I wonder how we’re all going to feel when these technologies allow families to de-gay their unborn child or abort a child with the “gay gene”?

  3. says

    Just to say that, as far as I now, that norwegian ad was rejected as the official one, and it’s only on the web, not TV. Apparently, it could promote unsafe sex.. and was also exclusively gay, not gay and lesbian as wanted..

    It was very funny dow.. 😉

  4. Ted B. says

    Hot Damn!!! Genetically-related children of both partners. Why didn’t the breeders think of that? Oh, thath’s right….

    If I understand the premise, that also means that you could also create a living cell from one progenator that is NOT it’s clone. The egg and sperm nucleus-DNA would still have to split and re-combine for a new genetic code-sequence not-identical progenator’s, yet derived and related to the progenator’s.

    In a way, you would be the child’s fraternal, not identical, twin. Not all the sequences would be same R-L pairings, some would be R-R or L-L pairings. (Yes, I’ve vastly oversimplified.) The real breakthrough would be ethical in that cloning yourself would not be the “sin of vanity”, since the child would be genetically different….and hence have a different genetic destiny.

  5. Steve says

    Interesting thought, but wouldn’t such an offspring be more susceptible to genetic diseases? They would have a greater chance of inheriting two recessive alleles. It would sort of be the supreme form of in breeding, no?

  6. Mace says

    I think this is a terrible idea. We already have enough children in this world that need homes. If people cannot conceive the natural way, they should consider adoption, not resort to Frankenstein-like technologies. Who knows what the repercussions of messing with our DNA will be? Our genome was shaped by millions of years of evolution. Cloning technologies are not even close to being safe yet.

    Do gays really need to add fuel to the fire by wanting something like this to happen? Unlike homosexuality, tinkering with our chromosomes really does violate Nature.

  7. says

    This doesn’t amount to genetic manipulation, this is simply a method of expanding cultured ES cells and picking the ones which go down the gamete route of differentiation, so there is no tinkering going on. Male stemcells would have the ability then to produce sons and daughters since men have both and X and a Y, whereas women can only give rise to X chromosomes (in general, there are exceptions with some females possessing a Y). Anyway, there are enormous ethical considerations, but this is all still in the realm of science figuring out WHAT is possible. Little consideration has been given to figuring out if some things really should be done, and this is a case in point. The media does tend to jazz things up though to make them more sexy. This research has only shown that embryonic stem cells can take the route to gamete formation, i.e. Eggs and Sperm. There has been no long term viability of these cell types in these cases (and I’m talking about long terms as weeks, not months). Also there is no evidence yet that these cells types are truly functionable in the traditional sense of sperm and eggs, they have not been used for the creation of an embryo yet and it is possible that they will not be capable of such.

    Even if all of the holes in this fantasy were filled in and the technology progressed to the point required to actually creat an embryo in this way, the chances of such going to full term are as small as for every other embry created via natural means, which is so remote that you realise that it truly is the miracle of life.

    I very much doubt that there will ever be enough attempts to be successful with this, though you never know and hence considered, educated legislation is required to protect all those involved. Reactionary decisions at such an early stage would be a disaster.

    (sorry for the long comment)

  8. Wayne says

    First, Mace, get WAY over yourself! I can’t believe you actually used the term “violate nature”!! What is that??!! Not to mention your comment “do gays really need to add fuel to the fire…”, again, what is that??!! Did you read the article? Did it say anywhere that these are Gay scientists attempting to make their own babies? It’s people like you that are pointing the religious right in our direction. You’re already blaming us and we’re no where near it! So I’ll say it again…GET OVER YOURSELF!

    Mitch, there’s already a law in Maine that makes it illegal to abort a fetus if it’s been identified as “gay” since conception. One of their Senators got wise last year and decided that, eventually, we would be able to locate the “gay” gene. He saw this as a back door to limit abortion, but he actually did the right thing for the wrong reason. So there’s at least one state where this is already illegal.

  9. Rain says

    i think that its wrond and right.For one their are places full of children in need of a home and 2ndly two peoplemight want to have one of their own so theirs no need for the harsh comments and facts. If it happens it happens , if does’nt, o’well.

    sorry for being so blunt)

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