Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Biotech Science

Sperm Made From Female Bone Marrow, Men Obsolete? 459 459

Shaitan Apistos writes "British scientists have discovered a way to turn female bone marrow into sperm, allowing women to reproduce without the need of male companionship. All children born of this method would be female, due the lack Y chromosomes, and there is high chance of birth defects. Eggs also can be created from male bone marrow, but men looking to reproduce would still need to find a surrogate mother to handle the gestation period. I'd like to take a moment to welcome our new amazonian overlords and remind them that men are still very good at mowing lawns and fixing cars."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Sperm Made From Female Bone Marrow, Men Obsolete?

Comments Filter:
  • by syousef (465911) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @07:40AM (#22271890) Journal
    From a sexual point of view, most women are still part conditioned and part pre-programmed to want male ahem companionship. (I could put this much more crudely but I won't). Without these urges our species wouldn't exist. You can't suddenly replace that in a generation. If you had many generations that could survive just as well (ie elliminate high birth defects etc) perhaps you'd see human sex drive die off. I like sex, so let's hope not.

    From a social and evolutionary point of view, while men and women can replace each other for most things it is still true that the male tends to be physically bigger and buliker, and prefer science and math while women tend to be smaller and have more interests in social bonds, fashion and nest-making. We'd need to change both society and biology to change that. (Note that I'm not saying a man can't be a splendid nest-maker or that a woman can't do heavy work, or even that this should be discouraged - nothing sexier than a woman with a brain, or one that can kick arse - I'm just stating what the trend is currently and that it takes time to change such trends.)

    So while a few scornful women may wish to bomb men out of existence but we ain't going anywhere anytime soon. Let's all be friends, instead.
  • by Jamu (852752) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @08:13AM (#22272034)
    Doesn't this also allow women to reproduce without the need of female companionship? Just make sperm from your own marrow and use this to fertilise your own eggs. Of course the daughter would then be a clone of the mother. But she would only inherit birth defeats, not engender new ones.
  • by Stanislav_J (947290) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @08:29AM (#22272104)

    ...on a similar theme (maleless society after a plague -- women reproduce via cloning).

    "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?" [wikipedia.org]

  • by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Saturday February 02, 2008 @08:32AM (#22272120) Homepage
    They've pretty much proven that both gender and sexual preference are hardwired into the brain (lots of studies, some quite good, one or two quite unethical (I read a story about one where they cut a babies penis off at birth and raised him as a girl.. of course as soon as he got the chance he reverted to being male - he 'knew' he was male despite nobody ever telling him)).

    If course there's two ways that a 'reverse' preference could happen... either it's genetic, or something happens during the development of the foetus.

    I seem to remember a pair of identical twins, one gay one straight, though (can't provide a link as it's too vague for even google to help) which would count against the genetic theory.
  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Saturday February 02, 2008 @08:37AM (#22272138)
    This could be a great way towards extinction.
    1. Phase out men.
    2. When there are no men you can only breed through a procedure.
    3. Wait for a major war or some major problem where a lot of people die and a good chance many with the knowledge of the procedure will die to. (Just because the world is run by woman don't think for a second that they will solve all the problems that we have)
    4. Then a slow extinction.

    Generally it is a bad idea. There is also the issue rejecting half of the genetic code and the biological and psyological difference that men have give a major advantage to the specie.
  • That's the craziest thing I ever heard of. As soon women get any rights, the first thing they do is stop having babies. The old 1980's battle of the sexes is a two way street. If men may be obsolete sperm providers, then it follows that a woman is useless unless she is pregnant!
  • by duguk (589689) <dug@noSPAm.frag.co.uk> on Saturday February 02, 2008 @09:42AM (#22272428) Homepage Journal
    It's not *too* vague! :)

    "Studies of identical twin brothers show that in 52% of cases where one twin is gay the other twin is also gay. This is a much higher concordance than the 2% to 10% distribution of gay people in the general population, as recorded by various sex surveys." from Gene Genie [petertatchell.net]

    originally from a very interesting article: in the Guardian. [guardian.co.uk]

    Disclaimer: I am a gay man, last born and I'm not sure if its environmental, genetic or a combination. The thing about gay men having a bigger cock is true though. Honest.

  • by Dhalka226 (559740) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @09:45AM (#22272454)

    They've pretty much proven that both gender and sexual preference are hardwired into the brain

    I read the article you linked, but it dealt primarily with gender rather than sexual preference. So, for starters, do you have any more links to sources?

    Also, by "hardwired," I assume you mean genetic? I know there are cases in which brains essentially re-wire themselves. I wonder if, regardless of whether or not sexual preference is hard-wired to begin with, psychological issues could play a strong enough role to change the setting, so to speak.

    I seem to remember a pair of identical twins, one gay one straight, though (can't provide a link as it's too vague for even google to help) which would count against the genetic theory.

    Ehh, sort of. It would if it were true, but sexual identity is a complicated and emotional issue. People lie about it all the time--sometimes even to themselves.

    I'm not sure if sexual preference is genetic or psychological, but I absolutely do not believe it is a choice by any meaningful definition of the word.

  • by raddan (519638) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @10:22AM (#22272684)
    I think it's likely that 'gay' behavior is a mix of both inherited traits and learned behavior. This makes sense when you consider the sheer number of 'gay' people, all of whom act very differently. You have homosexual men and women, transgendered people, transvestites, and I'm sure a whole spectrum of people in between with different conceptions of gender and sexual preference.

    One of the reasons I am skeptical of claims that a genetic basis is 'almost certain' is that we know now that genetic expression is far more dynamic that we originally thought. What if someone has a 'gay' gene but isn't?-- due to their particular circumstances, that gene was never expressed. Are they still gay? Are they a gay-carrier? What if they pass this 'gay' gene down, but, like them, their children never express it either? The fact is, mapping the human genome was only the first step-- now we have to decode the epigenome [wikipedia.org]! The epigenome is somewhat like software-- it can change. But it is hertiable, too! And in my mind, the realization that our epigenome-- i.e., how our genes are expressed-- can change over the course of our lives, it makes me doubt a lot of the 'accepted wisdom' in the field of genetics when it comes to sexuality and a lot of other things, too.

    But even with a better knowledge of human inheritance, I personally do not think that we will necessarily have a better idea of human sexuality. That's not to say we won't learn something about where it comes from. But for reasons mentioned above, I suspect that we'll find that we are lumping too many behaviors into the category we call being 'gay'.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 02, 2008 @10:52AM (#22272842)
    The facts in OP seem to check out. You are citing a special case while the OP was citing most normal situations. From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

    Leavitt has argued that inbreeding in small populations can have long-term positive effects: "small inbreeding populations, while initially increasing their chances for harmful homozygotic recessive pairings on a locus, will quickly eliminate such genes from their breeding pools, thus reducing their genetic loads" (Leavitt, 1990, p. 974). However, other specialists have argued that these positive long-term effects of inbreeding are almost always unrealized because the short-term fitness depression is enough for selection to discourage it. In order for such a "purification" to work, the offspring of close mate pairings must be either homozygous-dominant (completely free of bad genes) or -recessive (will die before reproducing). If there are heterozygous offspring, they will be able to transmit the defective genes without themselves feeling any effects. This model does not account for multiple deleterious recessives (most people have more than one) and multi-locus gene linkages. The introduction of mutations negates the weeding out of bad genes, and evidence exists that homozygous individuals are often more at risk to pathogenic predation. Because of these complications, it is extremely difficult to overcome the initial spike in fitness penalties incurred by inbreeding (Moore, 1992; Uhlmann, 1992).
  • by TransEurope (889206) <eniac@uni-ko[ ]nz.de ['ble' in gap]> on Saturday February 02, 2008 @10:54AM (#22272856)
    Does that mean the artifical womb makes women obsolete? No men, no women. What will be there?
  • by KermodeBear (738243) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @11:44AM (#22273172) Homepage
    I know exactly the story of which you speak. It is detailed in the book, "As Nature Made Him". The man's penis was badly mangled during a circumcision accident. The parents eventually ran into Dr. Money, who convinced them to give the child a sex change operation. You see, Dr. Money had the idea that is was nurture, not nature, that determined gender and sexual preferences and this little boy had a twin brother. So for him, this was the 'perfect' experiment.

    Too bad it didn't work out for the kid. 'She' knew that she was a boy. She knew something was wrong. When she finally did learn of what had happened, she eventually went through sex reassignment surgery AGAIN. Really screwed this kid up.

    It's a pretty interesting (and tragic) story. Recommended reading for those interested in gender/sex/psychological topics.
  • Skintastic? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nodrogluap (165820) * on Saturday February 02, 2008 @12:32PM (#22273538) Homepage
    From TFA:

    Researchers at the Butantan Institute in Brazil, meanwhile, claim to have turned embryonic stem cells from male mice into both sperm and eggs. They are now working on skin cells.

    If their experiments succeed, the stage would be set for a gay man to donate skin cells that could be used to make eggs.


    Okay, am I the only one somewhat concerned by this? Imagine the day when a chick can take a swab of your skin (skin cells are relatively easy to grow in a Petri dish, so quantity isn't such as issue as long as you get down to some live ones), and make a baby with you...imagine what the ethical and legal implications would be...
  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:11PM (#22273854) Homepage Journal
    Get over it, they're not all floor-tapping Republicans. The origin of homophobia is the same as that of sexism, it is rooted in dominance-submission hierarchies, status insecurity and traditional roles for women. Just look at how less sophisticated cultures practice homosexuality and it is obvious.

    Gays are like the cylons of masculinity. Homophobes have contempt for men who take the roles women, but the knowledge that these men are often superior to them, blend in with them, and therefore often have power over them is terrifying.
  • Re:Also well (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Wolfier (94144) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @01:23AM (#22279782)
    However, having only 1 X chromosome sometimes create beneficial effects that would have been masked/averaged out by having 2 X chromosomes.

    That's why statistically, the female aggregate more towards the average, while the male polarize from the extreme retarded to the extreme genius, from jails to Nobel Prizes.

    To get back to the question. Is Men Obsolete? Read this article and make up your own mind.

    http://www.denisdutton.com/baumeister.htm [denisdutton.com]
  • Re:Fundy, go away. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Plutonite (999141) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @05:44AM (#22280820)
    You don't get it: if you are gay and you have no interest in sexual intercourse with members of the opposite sex, then you have to engage in activity that is as disgusting to you as gay sex is to us "straight" people in order to have kids of your own. I know gay people with kids, in fact I know an ex-priest who had a family, but that was before he "realized" he was gay. I am simply making the statement that you cannot pass on your genes if you truly stick to being homosexual, and that is why it is evolutionary suicide, a dead end.

    Since you know the world could never be entirely gay(to the extent that it becomes a straw man argument to you), then you also understand that this phenomenon is not "normal" sexual behavior in any way. I was just clarifying that point, and I take no joy in doing so..if I had an extra finger on my left hand I would not like to have people point it out to me all the time.

    But I would also not stick it in people's faces. I don't know where you got in my post that I support the repression of gays, transexuals, animal lovers or anyone else. I simply don't give a crap. I evaluate people based on completely different criteria, trust me. I am however sick of having to justify why we "normal" folks are disgusted by gay sex, for e.g, and having people blame things like religion(which I don't have) and society (which is a product of human nature). You can blame religion for your repression yes, but not for feelings produced by our highly evolved and most ancient instinct of all, and you need to start accepting that, not me. That said, I believe we are going off at a slight tangent from the article, and it is my fault.
  • Re:Fundy, go away. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JavaRob (28971) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @11:07AM (#22282084) Homepage Journal
    ...you just have to slow down and think this over a bit more.

    if you are gay and you have no interest in sexual intercourse with members of the opposite sex, then you have to engage in activity that is as disgusting to you as gay sex is to us "straight" people in order to have kids of your own.
    First off, gay sex isn't *disgusting* to all straight people -- unless you're conditioned that way, it's just "meh... no thanks, I'd rather go with her instead." Aren't there opposite-sex people you simply find sexually unappealing? It's like that.

    Same deal the other way. The gay people that I know at least don't find straight sex "disgusting". It just has no sexual appeal to them.

    But they may still have a drive to have children -- so it might be worth 10 minutes of fantasizing about person A while having sex with less-appealing person B, a few times. Artificial insemination is also pretty much a no-brainer to figure out, for that matter.

    I know gay people with kids, in fact I know an ex-priest who had a family, but that was before he "realized" he was gay.
    See, you know this after all. Sort of. He wasn't recoiling in horror from his wife; I'll bet you that ex-priest was just finding sex remarkably... uninteresting, and perhaps wondered more and more why he was fantasizing about the shirtless 25-year-old neighbor mowing his lawn while sleeping with his wife. But again, he wasn't "disgusted" or revolted by straight sex. And it's possible he has very strong "father" feelings towards his kids and is very glad to have them -- but that's a separate issue from his sexuality.

    I am simply making the statement that you cannot pass on your genes if you truly stick to being homosexual, and that is why it is evolutionary suicide, a dead end.
    How is using a turkey baster to impregnate your lesbian friend not "truly sticking" to being homosexual? Or even impregnating her more or less the standard way as an experiment, if you've never tried hetero sex? (Hint, if it's 90% tedious and 10% spark, you're still gay).

    I get the sense you have a pretty simplistic idea of how human sexuality works, and how evolution works. Here's an important point -- if we develop reliable test-tube methods of reproduction that don't require opposite sex parents, and eventually men dropped out of the species but women went on to colonize other planets, that's still evolutionary success for humans. "Evolution" doesn't give a $#!# how you do it. If it's exists, it's "natural".

    Since you know the world could never be entirely gay (to the extent that it becomes a straw man argument to you), then you also understand that this phenomenon is not "normal" sexual behavior in any way.
    Well, define "normal". We aren't the only species that has gay sex (or non-reproductive sex), you know, for entertainment, social bonding, etc.. Sex is part of human interaction, and not purely for reproductive purposes. Would you also say that condoms are not "normal", and couples that have sex after the woman has reached menopause are not "normal"?

    If enough people do it, does that make it normal? 'Cause, uh, then if you want to argue that gay sex is abnormal, there's a hell of a lot of other human activities you also have to flag as abnormal, like being an American who read even a single book of poetry or literary fiction last year.

    But what other criteria do you use for "normal"?

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?

Working...