Success in mass production of egg and sperm source from iPS cells. Thinking about future fertilization and childbirth.

【Kyoto University in Japan succeeded in mass-producing the source of eggs and sperm from iPS cells!】


Research conducted at Kyoto University has succeeded in using iPS cells to produce cells that are the source of eggs and sperm.

・The new research shows that iPS cells have the ability to change into all types of cells, and that this ability can be applied to the production of human eggs and sperm, and is expected to be used in fertility treatments.

・In a study conducted in 2015, mouse iPS cells were used to create mouse eggs, which were then fertilized in vitro with sperm, resulting in the birth of baby mice.

・In a study published in 2018, human iPS cells were cultured in combination with ovarian cells extracted from the fetuses of female mice, as shown in the figure above, to successfully create cells that will become the source of human eggs (oocytes).

Once these technologies are perfected, it will eventually be possible to create new life from somatic cells such as skin cells as long as they are available, as in the following steps: “harvest skin cells ➔ transform them into iPS cells ➔ transform them into eggs and sperm ➔ fertilize them to create fertilized eggs ➔ implant them in the uterus and have a baby.

・In Japan today, it is allowed to create eggs and sperm from iPS cells, but it is prohibited to fertilize the created eggs and sperm or to return them to the body (e.g., to be supplied).


The above is a quote from the article






What does the common sense of future fertilization and childbirth look like?


As mentioned in the article, I have written many times in the past on my blog about research into egg and sperm production, as follows


【Successful production of eggs from male cells. In the future, can we have children only from males?】


【To an age when a man alone, a woman alone, or even a man alone can create a child.】



And what is so amazing about the research we are discussing today?

The research on egg and sperm production up to now has been done in mice.

This time, however, they have succeeded in producing human cells.

To be more precise, they have succeeded in creating cells from human iPS cells, which are the source of eggs and sperm.

There are still some technical problems to be overcome, but it is probably only a matter of time before we will be able to produce eggs and sperm.


Of course, the problems are not only technical but also ethical.


According to the survey introduced in the article, one out of every four respondents is in favor of fertilizing a baby with eggs and sperm created from iPS cells.


I have a feeling that if this technology is put to practical use in the future, it will be used more and more in response to demand from infertile couples, the LGBT population, etc. If this happens, it is possible that the current ratio of one in four people in favor of this technology will increase rapidly.


Think about it,

It has been less than 80 years since women first began voting in elections in Japan. From today’s perspective, it is hard to believe that women cannot participate in elections and voting. It seems insane. But about 80 years ago, it was the norm.


It’s amazing how much common sense can change in just 80 years,


In about 80 or 100 years from now,

It is quite possible that in 80 to 100 years from now, things like iPS cell babies, test tube babies that do not use human bodies, and genetically engineered design babies will be the norm.


I don’t think that a change or update of common sense is something that changes color in a flash, if we compare it to a color.

I think that a change or update of common sense is a gradual change like a gradation.


Since it is a gradation, it is difficult to notice the change unless you are aware of it. (The story of the boiled frog may be similar)


Of course it is better to notice changes in times and common sense as soon as possible.


We should continue to consciously follow such information and update our common sense (knowledge) from time to time.


See you then


To be honest, I feel a little intimidated by the idea of a third party’s involvement in the process of fertilization, which until now has been an absolute event for the two of us alone.But to the people of the future, that idea will seem archaic.




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