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A procedure known as haploidisation
January 22, 2002 4:46 PM   Subscribe

A procedure known as haploidisation could allow lesbian couples to have a baby that shares both their genes. The procedure may be available in 18 months' time. Sperm? We don't need no stinking sperm!
posted by homunculus (41 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Males are doomed, doomed I say!
posted by Aikido at 4:48 PM on January 22, 2002


Great, more screwed-up kids. Yes folks, let's keep meddling with nature. Because, after-all, we clearly need more people on this overpopulated sludgebucket...
posted by Dark Messiah at 5:05 PM on January 22, 2002


(See's future race of humans, all women, living peacfully across the planet, no wars, no famine, all our current problems solved. The women join hands and sing praise towards their new society, while aliens land in the background and join in. "All is well, All is well, All is")



AHHHHHHHHHHHH!
posted by hellinskira at 5:08 PM on January 22, 2002


Yes, no wars, no famine, no injustice, but who will open that stubborn pickle jar? WHO?!
posted by Hammerikaner at 5:10 PM on January 22, 2002


but who will open that stubborn pickle jar?

Especially after the lesbians are pregnant and want pickles and ice cream!
posted by Neale at 5:15 PM on January 22, 2002


Poor old Y chromosome.

I assume two lesbians can only conceive a girl. Is this true?
posted by vacapinta at 5:16 PM on January 22, 2002


I hope not vacapinta; the first such baby was named Adam.
posted by skyline at 5:21 PM on January 22, 2002


I see nothing wrong with this. I know one lesbian couple that went the sperm donor route, and I felt badly for them that they did not have the same opportunity to have a child fully reflective of both their genetic makeup. It's a brave new world.
posted by Slagman at 5:21 PM on January 22, 2002


And woah! What is up with the little girl's arm in that photo? It bends like a snake! Is that what happens with Fanconi's Anaemia? She could grow up to fight Spider-Man.
posted by hellinskira at 5:30 PM on January 22, 2002


yes, only girls, and they would all very likely have prader-willi which is very bad. maybe not though... also there are probably some other abnormalities related to imprinting that no one knows about yet, because no one knows much about imprinting...
posted by rhyax at 5:30 PM on January 22, 2002


there hasn't been one like this yet, adam was different
posted by rhyax at 5:33 PM on January 22, 2002


Judging from rhyax' links, the offspring will either look like alien 'grays' or the Elephant Man...
posted by alumshubby at 5:35 PM on January 22, 2002


skyline: the adam baby was the result another procedure though it involved the same two scientists.

Males are XY. Females are XX. Children get their X from Mom and then get either an X or a Y from Dad. This determines their sex.

Pseudo-sperm generated from a woman would all be X and so no male children could be conceived.
posted by vacapinta at 5:36 PM on January 22, 2002


(See's future race of humans, all women, living peacfully across the planet, no wars, no famine, all our current problems solved. The women join hands and sing praise towards their new society, while aliens land in the background and join in. "All is well, All is well, All is")

...for about three weeks. Then all hell breaks loose.
posted by David Dark at 5:42 PM on January 22, 2002


the dream of amazon civilization has just been realized...!
except i'm on the wrong side of the gender. help!
posted by moz at 5:42 PM on January 22, 2002


More important than the pickle jar issue I raised earlier... what of sexually harassing ass-grabbing on the job? WHAT, I ask you?!
posted by Hammerikaner at 5:51 PM on January 22, 2002


but seriously, if this works then gay males can make babies too. and the idea of lesbians taking over the world is unbelievable, i mean did you see those two on the link? gay guys however are full of evil and hell-bent on world domination, and we have plenty of fag-hags to shove our babies in. ha, just kidding! heh, yea, kidding! bwahahaa
posted by rhyax at 5:53 PM on January 22, 2002


What would a YY baby look like?
posted by hellinskira at 5:55 PM on January 22, 2002


Ohh, can you imagine your mother multiplied by the factor of two...I pity those boy baby's they produce/create.
posted by bittennails at 5:55 PM on January 22, 2002


Problem.

Eggs and sperm are formed through the genetic mixing of a person's genetic makeup. Of course this is done in an orderly fashion such that offspring are possible.

You take half a person's genetic makeup and what you have is exactly that - half that person's genetic makeup. Which means the child is EXACTLY half you.

Spookiness aside, the variability of our genetic makeup has taken a drastic downturn which, as seen in our produce industry, can bring disastrous consequences.

A sidenote.. an excellent short story very much related to this genetic debate: Seventy-two Letters by Ted Chiang. Link is to Tor's site.
posted by linux at 6:02 PM on January 22, 2002


in masculine hands logic is often a form of violence, a sly kind of tyranny.

Simone de Beauvoir
--Second Sex

posted by th3ph17 at 6:03 PM on January 22, 2002


hellinskira:

the Y chromosome is shorter than the X chromosome, and as such some crucial genes would be missing from the embryo. the baby could not survive past the embryo stage of development.
posted by moz at 6:04 PM on January 22, 2002


What would a YY baby look like?

Hmmm.
posted by hellinskira at 6:04 PM on January 22, 2002


YY babies, like mixing pig and elephant DNA, just doesn't work :P

and linux, i don't think you know how gametes are formed, they are a semi-random halfing of the person's genetic makeup, "EXACTLY" half even... you are exactly half of each of your parents, sorry if that spooks you out. and why do you think our genetic diversity has taken a downturn? when you hear that the produce industry has low diversity (which it does) it doesn't mean humans do.
posted by rhyax at 6:11 PM on January 22, 2002


"in masculine hands logic is often a form of violence, a sly kind of tyranny"--does this mean that logic is not logic when used by men but if a woman were to use it it would be ok and not sly at all? No wonder Sartre choose not to live with her.
posted by Postroad at 6:31 PM on January 22, 2002


Tom Hanks was wrong. There will be crying in baseball.
posted by owillis at 7:03 PM on January 22, 2002


I find it rather humorous that this post originated from someone who calls themself homunculus.
posted by MrBaliHai at 7:03 PM on January 22, 2002


This is puerile and adolescent and I know I shouldn't say such things, but in that picture....

....those women look like dudes.
posted by Salmonberry at 7:21 PM on January 22, 2002


May I just interject here and posit that the reason kids are so out of control and messed up nowadays is the increasingly small (or negative) role the father is playing in "The Family"(tm). Kids need that balance growing up. I wouldn't begin to tell lesbians that they shouldn't be able to make babies...but i might say that I feel that on a large scale this kind of mucking with nature could have unpleasant effects on our culture in the long run.

*runs and cowers in the corner*

Perhaps Moe the bartender said it best: "You know what I blame this on the breakdown of? Society!"
posted by glenwood at 7:36 PM on January 22, 2002


see: the scum manifesto by Valerie Solanas
posted by palegirl at 8:30 PM on January 22, 2002


glenwood:

May I just interject here and posit that the reason kids are so out of control and messed up nowadays is the increasingly small (or negative) role the father is playing in "The Family"(tm). Kids need that balance growing up.

it might be interesting to research how children do with two gay men as parents (in fact, that might go a long way to answering your concerns about two lesbian parents). i won't say it's the healthiest thing ever, but i can't say it isn't either.

palegirl:

now i feel like shit. but, as i read it, so does valerie.
posted by moz at 8:42 PM on January 22, 2002


Feminist SF has often explored the idea of the women-only world, especially in Joanna Russ's "seminal" novel, The Female Man (1975). Back in the day, it was a controversial and daring topic.
posted by dhartung at 9:20 PM on January 22, 2002


but boners are really fun...
posted by spilon at 11:05 PM on January 22, 2002


Actually, one is not "exactly half" of each parent genetically, simply because the mitochondrial DNA comes solely from the mother.
posted by meep at 4:25 AM on January 23, 2002


There's nothing new about lesbian couples raising children. Barbara Walters did a 20/20 program on the subject: Coming Of Age With Gay Parents.
posted by Carol Anne at 5:10 AM on January 23, 2002


Poor old Y chromosome.

i'd read an article somewhere that posited that the Y chromosome was on the way out anyway, naturally. may as well stay ahead of the genetic trend, eh?
posted by tolkhan at 6:34 AM on January 23, 2002


here is more info on the 'spare part baby'.

the 'spare part' deal not bad as it sounds, but this whole realm of research scares the bejezzus out of me. i have no problems with homosexual couples raising kids and it would be wonderful for these couples to both contribute DNA. (i knew a gay couple where one partner provided sperm and the other's sister carried the baby and i thought that was such a beautiful thing.)

But That's Just Not How Things Work.

homosexuality is not a crime against nature, but this is. it took billions of years to (almost) perfect the way humans reproduce. the idea that we could totally fuck this process over in 18 months, or even 18 years, carries high risk of creating damaged people and makes me sick.
posted by danOstuporStar at 10:24 AM on January 23, 2002


What I meant by EXACTLY half is that the particular formulation of a gamete being semi-random makes you half your parent, but not in the same configuration.

Whereas with this new fangled technology, you are EXACTLY half the same as your parent, seeing as no semi-random formulation takes place.

And if that were the case, then using this technology lowers our genetic variability as it is now stuck on non-random halving of a person's genetic configuration.

Follow?
posted by linux at 12:18 PM on January 23, 2002


"it is being seen as a way of enabling lesbian couples to have a baby with genes from both partners, BBC Two's Newsnight programme reported. "

1) Why is it assumed they need be lesbians?

2) and if they can pull this off, wouldn't only one person be required, sorta the ultimate narcisistic ego trip?
posted by DBAPaul at 3:11 PM on January 23, 2002


"Half of all marriages end in divorce, what kind of example of a mother and father do they have?"

Thanks, Carol Anne--that piece came to mind for me as well, but I couldn't remember where I'd seen it.
posted by y2karl at 3:29 PM on January 23, 2002


Well, you don't know that half of all marriages WITH KIDS end in divorce. Plus that stat is hyped. Second and third marriages do pretty well. It takes people a while to get it right.

And two parents, of any sex, are better than just one, says this father of a 1.5 year old. It's a tough job.
posted by Slagman at 3:45 PM on January 23, 2002


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