Select Page

No Men or Women Needed as Artificial Sperm, Eggs Created for First Time

Embryo Adoption Web Site Adds New Videos to Promote Saving Days-Old Unborn


No Men or Women Needed as Artificial Sperm, Eggs Created for First Time
Human eggs and sperm have been grown in the laboratory in research which could change the face of parenthood.

The research raises a number of moral and ethical concerns. These include the possibility of children being born through entirely artificial means, and men and women being sidelined from the process of making babies.

Opponents argue that it is wrong to meddle with the building blocks of life and warn that the advances taking place to tackle infertility risk distorting and damaging relations between family members.

The U.S. government-funded research also offers the prospect of a 'miracle pill' which staves off the menopause, allowing women to wait longer to have a child.

Scientists at Stanford University in California found the right cocktail of chemicals and vitamins to coax the cells into becoming eggs and sperm.

The sperm had heads and short tails and are thought to have been mature enough to fertilize an egg. The eggs were at a much earlier stage but were still much more developed than any created so far by other scientists.

The double success, published in the journal Nature, raises the prospect of men and women one day 'growing' their own sperm and eggs for use in IVF treatments.

The American team used [unethical] stem cells taken from embryos in the first days of life but hope to repeat the process with slivers of skin.

The skin cells would first be exposed to a mixture which wound back their biological clocks to embryonic stem cell state, before being transformed into sperm or eggs. Starting with a person's own skin would also mean the lab-grown sperm or eggs would not be rejected by the body.

The science also raises the possibility of 'male eggs' made from men's skin and 'female sperm' from women's skin.

[31Oct09, Palo Alto, CA,, #4742]

Embryo Adoption Web Site Adds New Videos to Promote Saving Days-Old Unborn
To raise awareness about the relatively new process of human embryo donation and adoption, the one-stop informational web site launched three new web videos.

The first video, "A True Story of Embryo Donation & Adoption," reveals a compelling story of two families brought together by their common desire to become parents.

Two additional videos share embryo donation and adoption testimonials from couples that struggled with infertility and found hope in the embryo donation and adoption process.

"There are just so many couples that just don't know what to do with their embryos," says embryo donor Jennifer Spohr, as she tells her story in the first video.

"They have many frozen [embryos] and if they don't do something, they're going to stay frozen forever." [ed.: these human embryos are being thawed and destroyed by the thousands throughout the world after several years of storage.]

Hundreds of thousands of frozen human embryos in the United States alone remain in storage and in limbo, while couples grapple with the difficult decision of what to do with their remaining embryos after completing their family building efforts.

As couples weigh their options, many learn about embryo donation through the site's fact sheets, donor testimonials, adoption stories, news archive, service providers and much more. [31Oct09, Washington, DC,, #4742]