Artificial gametes: new paths to parenthood?

06 February 2015

A number of recent papers have described the successful derivation of egg and sperm precursor cells from mouse embryonic stem cells—so-called “artificial” gametes. Although many scientific questions remain, this research suggests numerous new possibilities for stem cell research and assisted reproductive technology, if a similar breakthrough is achieved with human embryonic stem cells. The novel opportunities raised by artificial gametes also prompt new ethical questions, such as whether same-sex couples should be able to access this technology to have children who are genetically related to them both.