Cutting out the middle man: Women won't need a dude in the near future to get pregnant
Research is underway to create artificial sperm.
Well, we all probably knew this was coming: men are getting cut out of the whole baby-making process. As far as reproduction goes, guys are just walking sperm banks, making them pretty replaceable. So why not invent artificial sperm?
Some scientists from the Rambam Health Care Campus in the Israeli city of Haifa were apparently wondering just that, because they published a paper on artificial sperm. Such technology hasn't been invented yet, but the scientists say that research is underway, and robo-sperm, as we like to call them as of this morning, may not be far off.
People tend to want kids with their DNA, possibly because we as humans are basically DNA sacks that want to replicate ourselves.
"Most men and women desire parenthood in general,
and specifically to be the biological parents of a child
who carries their DNA," write the scientists in their paper. It's not the most politically correct way to start a paper, but they did cite some
studies proving that most men and women want children, so ... You know. Womp womp.
The desire to make babies is a problem for individuals and couples who can't, physically, do that, which is why artificial sperm could be so useful. For instance, some men are infertile; artificial sperm could make it possible for them to still get their DNA in a baby (hopefully the infertility isn't genetic). Two women could actually have a baby with both their DNA.
We were hoping for nanobots at this point in the story, but scientists are apparently examining way less cool, but probably more effective methods. They might turn stem cells into sperm, for instance, or use immature sperm cells for in vitro fertilization.
Most interestingly, they might take the nucleus out of a woman's cell and put it into a sperm cell, making a sperm cell with a woman's DNA inside. In fact, scientists have actually already made artificial sperm like this, though it hasn't gotten anyone pregnant yet.
A brave new world is coming. And guys, sorry to say, may not be part of it.
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