Scientists for the first time brought offspring from an unfertilized egg

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists from the US and China have for the first time bred offspring of mice without using male genes.

A group of international scientists from China and the United States for the first time managed to breed offspring of mice from an unfertilized egg. The results of the study are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Parthenogenesis – also called same-sex reproduction – is a form of reproduction of an organism without the use of male germ cells. This type of development is characteristic of some insects, fish, reptiles, scorpions, but not mammals, which include mice.

Earlier attempts to conceive and bear a fetus without the participation of males were unsuccessful due to genomic imprinting. Using a different method, scientists managed to solve this problem.

They extracted a mouse egg, used a CRISPR gene-editing tool, and then implanted some of the cells back into the female’s uterus.

As a result, several test subjects gave birth to 8 to 12 cubs, all of which were born alive, but only one survived to maturity, although this is enough to continue the offspring.

Scientists believe that the results of their work will be useful in the field of agriculture and medicine.


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