Scientists have created mice that are the genetic product of two fathers, the latest in a series of unusual experiments in mammalian reproduction.Not only is this kind of research a terrible use of resources, it sends a very confusing message to people, especially children, about their reproductive potential. We should make it clear that same-sex procreation is never going to be a possibilty, because it will always be unethical and wasteful and damaging to our natural procreation rights. Prohibiting same-sex procreation also makes it possible to resolve the marriage debate, by creating a difference in rights between marriage and civil unions, so that civil unions could be enacted in all 50 states and federally recognized as if marriages. That would help same-sex couples much more than holding out hope for radical technology to enable same-sex procreation.
Researchers at University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and elsewhere first engineered a female mouse whose eggs contained the DNA from a male. When the female was mated with another male, the offspring had genetic contributions entirely from two males. The study appears online in the peer-reviewed journal Biology of Reproduction.
While the achievement is technically intriguing, its practical benefits are far from clear. Any move to try the same experiment in people is certain to be more complicated and controversial.
The study describes the technique as "a new form of mammalian reproduction" that could potentially be used to improve livestock breeds or preserve endangered species. More provocatively, the authors argue that if certain technical hurdles can be overcome, "then some day two men could produce their own genetic sons and daughters." But those technical hurdles are extremely high.
"It has been a weird project, but we wanted to see if it could be done" in mice, says Richard Behringer, lead author of the study and a developmental geneticist at M.D. Anderson in Houston.
Researchers Create Mice From Two Fathers
They had to jump through some crazy hoops, so this isn't the big news that Postgenderists have been dreaming of, but the headline sure makes it seem like same-sex procreation is a real possibility. Wall Street Journal Online reports: