Another Step in Evolution?

“I woke up today and to my surprise found a chirpy milk woman at my doorstep instead of my regular ghostly milkman. The even more fascinating part of my day was to find only women cabbies and women vendors. Has the male species evaporated from the face of earth?” Well, that was a dream which I had few days back. According to a recent scientific report, it could soon be true; however in that case, it will be a real nightmare for guys.

A new scientific breakthrough may enable women in future to produce sperm. Scientists in England have turned stem cells from an embryo into sperm which are capable of producing offsprings but female only. The breakthrough is likely to lead to new advances in treating male infertility and even the possibility that women could manufacture sperm. The researchers at Newcastle University feel that this discovery can help men with certain types of infertility to become fertile.

In this experiment embryo cells were used to produce seven baby mice, six of whom lived into adulthood. The researchers isolated embryonic stem cells from an embryo only a few days old consisting of a cluster of cells. The cells were grown in a laboratory and screened to isolate the spermatogonial stem cells which were grown and then injected into female mice eggs and grown in early stage embryos. The research team stated that this project will aid the understanding of the biological process through which sperm is produced, which should help in the future treatment of infertility. It is hoped that this new knowledge could be translated into treatments for men whose sperm is dysfunctional, although could be some years into the future.

This breakthrough in the modern science can change lives of many. The most benefited section from this discovery would be the Lesbians. One day this can enable a lesbian couple to have children that genetically would be their own. Even families who yearn for a child and cannot have one, due to the infertility problem within the father can fulfill their wishes.

However, a lot of controversies have cropped up due to this invention. Neelanjan Dutta, Msc Chemistry, IIT Kharagpur said that “it is going to create an imbalance in the nature’s process and undermine marriages.” Shreya Joshi gave a very different dimension. She feels this invention will have havoc theological consequences and theologists might protests staunchly against this and lead to worldwide riots. Anindita Mandal, a budding architect feels “it will certainly help lesbians but then again what will be the social standing of children born? They might face social stigma”

Evolution, reproduction is a process which has evolved naturally. But this breakthrough will not only bring a difference in the lives of mankind but redefine the definition of reproduction in which man had a “monopoly” till now.

Sridatta Gupta

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