The Corner

Science & Tech

Scientists Make Mice Pups from Two Male Parents

The gene editing technology CRISPR and other biological laboratory manipulations have been used to manufacture mice with two biological fathers and two biological mothers. From the STAT story:

For the first time, scientists said Thursday that they had bred mice with two genetic fathers, steering around biological hurdles that would otherwise prevent same-sex parents from having offspring.

The researchers also bred mouse pups with two genetic mothers. Those pups matured into adults and had pups of their own, outpacing previous efforts to create so-called bimaternal mice.

“This research shows us what’s possible,” Wei Li, a senior author of the study, said in a statement. Li conducted the work with colleagues at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Such manipulations, if ever done in humans, could a profound impact on human society going down the generations.

Beyond the technical, legal, and ethical roadblocks that would prevent this type of research in people, experts pointed to another concern. If researchers created, say, a daughter from two mothers or two fathers, and if she were healthy and had children of her own, it is unknown what genetic ramifications might be passed onto the next generation.

These are extremely portentous technologies. But existing laws and regulations that govern the sector–which were created when our scientific prowess was less sophisticated–are quickly becoming inadequate to ensuring that proper parameters are maintained to guide the development and direction of what I believe will become the most powerful technologies ever invented.

And yet, nearly two years into his time in office, President Trump hasn’t even appointed a bioethics/biotechnology advisory commission to help the administration and Congress engage these issues. Relying on voluntary ethical guidelines created by scientists to maintain proper ethical and safety boundaries–pretty much the situation now beyond some public funding limitations–is not a policy. It is an abdication of public responsibility.

Look: When scientists split the atom, our leaders did not just sit around slack-jawed and let the sector develop as it would. They engaged. They created laws, regulations, and international protocols to govern our use of atomic energy to maximize the benefit and reduce the danger. Surely we should do no less with biotechnology, which will have far more profound and far reaching impacts on human history.

Most Popular

Film & TV

The Mob Gets Kevin Hart

This week, shortly after being tapped to host the Oscars, Hollywood star Kevin Hart found himself on the wrong side of the woke social-justice warriors. His great sin: Years ago, he tweeted jokes referencing homosexuality. More egregiously, in 2010, he did a comedy bit in which he discussed not wanting his son, ... Read More
PC Culture

America Is Intolerably Intolerant

When you think of the sheer vindictiveness of what happened to Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, it takes your breath away. On the very night of his greatest career triumph, a reporter dug up his old tweets (composed when he was a young teenager), reported on the most offensive insults, and immediately and ... Read More
Film & TV

Aquaman Stinks Like Last Month’s Fish

A  major plot point in Aquaman is the tidal wave of garbage with which the undersea folk attack us surface dwellers. These two groups are spoiling for a fight, but I always thought Warner Bros. and I got along pretty well. What did I do to deserve the tidal wave of garbage that is Aquaman itself? I refuse to ... Read More