Using stem cell technology, scientists have been able to create male and female baby mice from two male parents. Most notably for us here, the breakthrough raises the possibility of same-sex couples having children genetically related to both parents.
In the work reported today, the Behringer team manipulated fibroblasts from a male (XY) mouse fetus to produce an induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell line. About one percent of iPS cell colonies grown from this XY cell line spontaneously lost the Y chromosome, resulting in XO cells. The XO iPS cells were injected into blastocysts from donor female mice. The treated blastocysts were transplanted into surrogate mothers, which gave birth to female XO/XX chimeras having one X chromosome from the original male mouse fibroblast. The female chimeras, carrying oocytes derived from the XO cells, were mated with normal male mice. Some of the offspring were male and female mice that had genetic contributions from two fathers.
This work could also help in the battle to preserve endangered animal species.
UPDATE: The Family Research Council is reassuring their followers that nothing will come of this in human terms.