Successful creation of human embryos from a single parent for the first time

by Medindia Content Team on  September 10, 2005 at 6:57 PM Research News   - G J E 4
Successful creation of human embryos from a single parent for the first time
Parthenogenesis refers to reproduction by the development of an unfertilized egg or development of eggs from females without fertilization by spermatozoa. Sounds interesting right? Hang On! This is not all.

Scientists have been successful in creating so-called parthenotes, early-stage embryos that are made from a single egg, without the need for sperm. The researchers have so far created six parthenotes by taking donated eggs from women who were undergoing sterilization. The eggs were given an electric shock to make them divide.

Parthenogenesis occurs naturally in a number of animals. Bees and ants use it to produce their worker drones and some larger animals can also reproduce this way - lizards, for example - but it is rare.

The developed human parthenotes would never be implanted into a womb, which is prohibited by his research license in any case. Other scientists have produced parthenotes using eggs from monkeys and mice. In the latter case, the parthenotes were implanted and grew into clones of the original mouse.

Further research would be directed towards extraction of stem cells from these parthenotes, which requires many technical difficulties to be overcome." It is a numbers game, It is just a matter of supply of tissue to be engaged in experimentation." said Dr De Sousa, who has been instrumental behind this successful experiment.

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