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Scientists create mice with two fathers

( Telegraph )

Scientists say they have created mice with two fathers by producing eggs from male cells, in research that has the potential to open up radical developments for human reproduction.

The technique could pave the way to allowing two men to have children related to both fathers, and could also treat a type of infertility in women.

However, scientists said much more research would need to be done and ethical considerations made before this would be considered in humans.

Prof Katsuhiko Hayashi from Osaka University presented his findings - which are not yet published - to the International Summit on Human Genome Editing at the Francis Crick Institute in London.

The research involved creating a stem cell from a skin cell of a male mouse, and then deleting the Y chromosome and duplicating the X chromosome, allowing it to turn into an egg.

Just seven pups were born from 600 attempted implants. But these pups went on to live healthy lives, and have offspring of their own.

It is not the first time similar attempts have been made.

In 2018, scientists at the Chinese Academy of Science successfully bred mice from two fathers, but the pups were unhealthy and died after a short time.

Prof Hayashi, a world-renowned expert in the field, told the summit that he is working on developing fertility treatments.

He believes his work could potentially be available for humans in ten years.

"If people want it and if society accepts such a technology then yes, I'm for it,” he told the BBC.

But he added: "Even in mice there are many problems in the quality of the egg. So before we can think of it as a fertility treatment we have to overcome these problems, which could take a long long time.”

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