An international consortium of scientists called Hinxton Group has indicated that in as little as five years from now, they may be able to grow sperm and eggs from ordinary cells. This means that the need for traditional conception would be obliterated.
The declaration of the scientists assumes significance because last year scientists had been able to convert skin cells into pluripotent stem cells (PSC). The latter have the capability of converting into any type of body cells.
AdvertisementHowever this procedure is not without controversy as there is always the possibility that the same person may donate both sperm and eggs. Ruth Faden, a bioethecist at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland admitted that the procedure would remain controversial.
The Hinxton Group has acknowledged the ethical concerns, but has stressed that thus far scientists have not made sperm from female bodies and eggs from males. The group also said that such technology would help infertile couples and would assist in reproductive research as well.