The Corner

Artificial Eggs Used to Make Living Animals

As we roll around in the dirt like Sarge fighting Beetle Bailey, big and potentially culturally-altering events are occurring in the world that are not being discussed, much less debated.

Scientists have turned rodent skin cells into eggs, which were fertilized and the resulting embryos brought to birth. From the Telegraph story:

Artificial eggs have been grown in a petri dish for the first time and used to create living animals in a breakthrough hailed as ‘remarkable’ by British experts.

Scientists in Japan proved it is possible to take tissue cells from the tail of a mouse, reprogramme them as stem cells and then turn them into eggs in the lab.

The ‘eggs in a dish’ were then fertilised and the resulting embryos were implanted in female mice which went on to give birth to 11 healthy pups.

This is huge and there is no reason why the proper techniques couldn’t, one day, be used on humans.

Such research will be sold to the public as a breakthrough to help the infertile have babies.

But the primary and most impactful uses to which this technology will likely be put is as the great accelerator to human cloning research, genetic engineering, and other such technologies which have been stymied by a shortage of human eggs, one of which is needed for every cloning try.

But that dearth may now be ending. Once biotechnologists can indulge in mass cloning, it is Brave New World time baby!

These technologies could have a huge impact on our culture and perceptions of what it means to be human.

Yet, where are the important national–nay, international–conversations about how and whether to proceed down this path?  Where are the debates about what, if any, limits should be placed around this technology?

They don’t much exist.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

Most Popular


Is Journalism School Worth It?

Clarence Darrow dropped out of law school after just a year, figuring that he would learn what he needed to know about legal practice faster if he were actually doing it than sitting in classrooms. (Today, that wouldn't be possible, thanks to licensing requirements.) The same thing is true in other fields -- ... Read More

Wednesday Links

Today is ANZAC Day, the anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli: Here's some history, a documentary, and a Lego re-enactment. How DNA Can Lead to Wrongful Convictions: Labs today can identify people with DNA from just a handful of cells, but a handful of cells can easily migrate. The 19th-century art of ... Read More

Microscopic Dots. Let’s Look at Them.

Stuart E. Eizenstat has written a big book on the Carter presidency. (Eizenstat was Carter’s chief domestic-policy adviser. He also had a substantial hand in foreign affairs.) I have reviewed the book for the forthcoming NR. Eizenstat tells the story of a meeting between President Carter and Andrei Gromyko, the ... Read More

Why North Korea Isn’t Going to Give Up Its Nukes

Responding to reports that North Korea said it “no longer needs” nuclear tests, Jim Hanson, president of the generally pro-Trump Security Studies Group, credited President Trump. “No one was expecting anything to come of Trump’s fiery rhetoric, except people who understand that diplomacy works better ... Read More