Nerdy Grrl Report: Forget the Sperm Donor

Reviewing the latest in tech, gaming, and science.

Don’t quote me on this, OK? I heard earlier this year that in Europe, a man and a lesbian couple had a child. Scientists took the outer layer of one woman’s egg, the other’s egg, and the man’s sperm and put them all together.  Voila, a baby. So I started doing some research on the possibilities on lesbians having children together without the need for sperm.

Obviously, if you’ve read my previous posts, science isn’t my thing. So I needed the help of some scholarly articles to figure out if this is possible. I found one article from 2004 where in Japan scientists discovered for the first time that mammals could reproduce without a male by mixing two sets of female genes inside an egg. By mammals, they’re talking about mice. This doesn’t sound so appealing since, A) we’re not mice and, B) the article continues to talk about how lesbians won’t be able to see this happening for us in the near future.

So we’ll fast forward a little bit to a study done in Australia. In this case, the experts believe a woman’s egg could be fertilized with cells from any part of the human body. What? For our entire lives we’ve been taught the little sperm goes into the little egg and that’s it, no ifs ands or buts. How can this be and when will they start letting children know there isn’t just one specific way to have a child? They explain further that one woman would give an egg and the second a cell that would be used to fertilize the egg. They also used mice, of course, and the result ended up being that chromosomes have different patterns of imprinting to egg and sperm cells and this might not be such a good idea. This is a great example as to why we’re not cloning ourselves on the daily like in The Island.

Let’s keep going though, articles can be outdated – new ideas can arise. This one article from 2008 suggests sperm cells could be produced by using a female embryonic stem cell. Whatever that is. I’m guessing it’s from the embryo, since I’m a genius, but that’s all I can tell you. The researchers from the University of Newcastle first started with sperm cells from male bone marrow and since then they have been working with cells from female bone marrow which would be an even better idea than their first since, according to this article, it’s more practical.

In 2011, a specific article on ‘cloning and the LGBT family’ came about written by Erez Aloni. This doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll literally create little clones of us but it’d be considered as reproductive cloning with a hope of mixing both of the couple’s genes. There are bans on federally funding research that would figure out how to have LGBT couples have children without the opposite sex’s organ. This makes so much sense. We still have such a long way to go not in the research since the research and the excellent scientists are there, it’s the bans and holds on our own equality rights that stop us from having little families of our own.

Yes, there has been so much of a jump from mice to actually the thought of having our own families without the trouble or hassle of finding the perfect donor. Yes, times have changed. Yet, still, could this be discovered in our lifetime? In our child’s lifetime? I don’t know about you but having a child with the love of my life is something I have always dreamed of.

So, my advice overall, if you’re a scientist, you now have a mission besides attempting to find all the errors in each study – find out how lesbians can have children so they can both have parental rights.

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