Video: In 40 years, babies could be made in the lab from skin cells

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Image: John Javellana/Reuters

The “birds and the bees” as we know them are changing. A new process called in vitro gametogenesis (IVG) is currently being developed, and if successful, it will completely transform the way humans think about reproduction.

“In 20 to 40 years, people will still have sex. But when they want to make babies, they’ll go to a lab,” predicts Stanford University Professor Henry T. Greely. It’s also the premise of his book – The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction.

The process of IVG creates sperm and egg cells in a lab from just about any adult cell. IVG uses skin or blood cells to reverse engineer a special type of cells called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).

Related article:  The 'Big O': How and why evolution brought us the female orgasm

IVG could eliminate the need for egg and sperm donors. With IVG, post-menopausal women could generate viable eggs. Same-sex couples could make a biological family. Virtually anyone with skin would have the ability to produce eggs or sperm.

Although 40 years might seem a lifetime away, there’s a lot to figure out before we can safely, ethically, and responsibly add in vitro gametogenesis to our list of fertility treatment options.

 

Read full, original post: IVG: Making Babies From Skin Cells

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