Feeling stressed out that you cannot have a baby? Don’t feel the stress and checkout for the new film The Baby Formula, a Canadian film, which is releasing in a later half of this week. Its a science fiction dealing with a lesbian couple having a baby. So do you get a hint now? Yes stem cells are playing the magic again.
Though the movie is based on a science fiction, but has a strong science background too. Dr. Karim Nayernia, Professor of Stem Cell Biology at Newcastle University, led the research while in his previous position at Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany, with Prof. Dr Wolfgang Engel and colleagues from Germany and the UK, including Dr David Elliott from Newcastle University’s Institute of Human Genetics.
In the year 2006 Prof. Nayernia was the first to claim that he has successfully converted mouse stem cell into sperm cell. In the following year he succeeded in repeating the same in male human, after obtaining the stem cell from bone marrow and there after converting it to the first ever human artificial sperm cell.
In the movie it has been reported that a lesbian couple would be bearing babies after receiving sperm cell through stem cell modification. Isn’t it interesting for you?
Doctors promise that if someday their attempt succeeds in application, even those of you who crave to hear the “Mommy, or Papa” from your babies, can realize your dreams. We are not joking! It can be. Not only it promises to make infertile parents to bear child but also older parents or parents who have physiological problems.
Now you might be wondering that although it has been reported that artificial human sperm has been produced, but why we are not accepting its success for practical purpose?
In females there is the presence of two X chromosomes and it will not allow the Y chromosome to express even if it is incorporated in the stem cell obtained from the female bone marrow. Therefore sperm production will be hindered. Moreover in other hand, if a woman stem cell if introduced in male testicles it might get rejected by the male immune system.
Adding to it, the stem cells generally multiply mitotically unlike germ cells, which multiply meiotically. So how will the engineered stem cells would manage to undergo spermatogenesis?
From a recent study it has the first issue might have an answer. It has been seen that there is no immunogenic rejection in human testicules where production of sperms take place. But to the second issue we still now have any answer. Moreover research is still ongoing to bring this development to application.
Dr. Nayernia sees a great promise in this field of research. We will be hoping to get some positive outcomes from it, but we also fear if the research will stay safe in the ethical boundary.
Resistance may come from the different sections of the society, who would not support the existence and well being of the “social outcastes” as they refer the gays and the lesbians most of the time. Moreover some people will raise their voice against the wastage of power and and money in developing something which would trigger the population growth, which has been a serious problem to some of the developing countries.
We from a neutral point of view can only wait and keep a close watch as the situation changes and the developments occur. We can only pray for one thing, whatever happens, we only demand that it happens for the people’s welfare.