Thursday, April 18, 2024
featured storyHEALTH

LGBTQ+ couples may be able to have their own biological kids

Exciting breakthroughs in reproductive science are offering hope to LGBTQ+ couples longing to have biological children. Recent research conducted by Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) has unveiled a groundbreaking technique called in vitro gametogenesis (IVG), which has the potential to revolutionize family planning for same-sex couples.

IVG involves the transformation of a skin cell into a functional egg, opening up possibilities previously unimaginable. Scientists at OHSU successfully demonstrated this process by taking a skin cell from a mouse, removing its nucleus, and implanting it into a donor egg. Through careful manipulation, they reduced the chromosomes to half, allowing for the incorporation of DNA from both donors.

Unlike cloning, where an exact genetic replica is created, IVG produces an egg with a unique genetic makeup from two individuals. This innovative approach offers hope to women facing fertility challenges, including those of advanced maternal age or with egg viability issues. Additionally, it provides an avenue for men in same-sex relationships to have children who are genetically related to both partners.

Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a professor at OHSU, highlights the potential of IVG to address various reproductive hurdles. However, while the technique shows promise, further research and refinement are necessary before it can be implemented clinically.

Although IVG has been extensively studied in human eggs and early embryos, its widespread adoption is still on the horizon. Nonetheless, scientists are optimistic about its eventual application and the transformative impact it could have on family-building options for LGBTQ+ individuals.

As research continues to progress, the prospect of LGBTQ+ couples having biological children becomes increasingly feasible. With IVG paving the way for new possibilities in reproductive medicine, the dream of parenthood is becoming a reality for many who once faced significant obstacles.

 

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