Sci­en­tists cre­ate mice with­out sperm

China Daily (Canada) - - NEWS CAPSULE -

In a ma­jor re­pro­duc­tive break­through, sci­en­tists in Shang­hai have cre­ated mice by us­ing two eggs and no sperm.

The team achieved the pi­o­neer­ing feat by mod­i­fy­ing an egg and making it work as a sperm re­place­ment that is in­jected in an­other egg to ac­ti­vate fer­til­iza­tion. A pa­per on their dis­cov­ery was pub­lished in the Chin­abased in­ter­na­tional sci­en­tific jour­nal Cell Re­search on Nov 17.

They pro­moted cell di­vi­sion of a ma­ture egg through chem­i­cal means and cre­ated a line of cells. Af­ter mod­i­fy­ing one cell by re­mov­ing two genes, they in­jected the cell into an­other egg as part of ar­ti­fi­cial fer­til­iza­tion process.

“In our ex­per­i­ments, more than 15 out of 100 em­bryos fi­nally de­vel­oped into mice. They are healthy and show no dif­fer­ence in de­vel­op­ment and fer­til­ity from the ones that are nat­u­rally con­ceived,” said Zhong Cuiqing, one of the re­searchers in the team at Shang­hai In­sti­tutes for Bi­o­log­i­cal Sci­ences un­der the Chi­nese Acad­emy of Sci­ences.

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