From the title I was expecting either scientists observed mice having same-sex reproduction under extreme conditions (e.g. their population is in great danger) or that scientists created an artificial environment in which mice were able to have same-sex reproduction. Being mammals, mice being able to do one of these would be groundbreaking and extremely surprising.
https://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/fulltext/S1934-5909(18)3... (the actual journal entry)
It is stipulated that the babies are the direct genetic descendants of, and only of, the two female mice, and it appears that the babies are physically under (at least one of) their care. So the babies were produced by artificial assortative mating and are under the care of their their parents. If you think that artificial reproduction of any kind isn't really "having babies", where do you draw the line between what is or is not artificial?
I concede that "have babies" obviously has some generally agreed upon connotation beyond the literal meaning of the words; if I picked up someones’ babies at the park and said I "had babies," my statement would be regarded as unreasonable by almost everyone.
I'm not writing this just to be pedantic. I think artificial reproduction is interesting and sometimes controversial, because it invalidates our assumptions about reproduction.
If the title displayed to me had been "Same-sex mice genetically engineered to reproduce asexually" I would have thought it implied that the new, artificial mouse genotype could reproduce asexually without further human intervention, which would be clearly incorrect.
Edit: Does sexual reproduction formally require sexual intercourse? At this point I'm out of my depth. :p
> Does sexual reproduction formally require sexual intercourse? At this point I'm out of my depth. :p
Yes, but not necessarily sex (e.g. pollination), but it's exclusively sex for mammals. We do not know of any other method for mammal reproduction other than sex. This puts mammals in a very weird spot since they're the only known group in animals that have not been observed to reproduce non-sexually.
Part way down this story, for example, they link https://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/fulltext/S1934-5909(18)3...
So, there you go, an actual journal article whose authors claim they did this.
The researchers proved their effect by knocking them out, probably with a CRISPR/Cas9-like deactivation complex. Future developments will have to instead epigenetically de-regulate and artificially re-regulate those target genes in order to produce a healthy adult organism.
They may eventually be able to make the haploid set from a stem cell masquerade as either the set from an egg or the set from a sperm, as required.
You also mentioned the Japanese study used egg cells, while this one uses haploid cells... aren't egg cells haploid?
> Using immature oocytes with a deletion of the H19 imprinted region, Kono et al. (2004) produced the first mice from two mothers [...] bipaternal reproduction, which has only been found in specific fish (Corley-Smith et al., 1996), has not been achieved in mammals until now.
so I guess a mouse with two mothers existed before, and they now also made a mouse with two fathers.
The researchers took an egg from one mouse and a special type of cell - a haploid embryonic stem cell - from another.
Both contained only half the required genetic instructions or DNA, but just bringing them together wasn't enough.
The researchers had to use a technology called gene editing to delete three sets of genetic instructions to make them compatible.
* Should any two people be able to reproduce using their own genes? Should a homosexual couple, or an individual with a gamete disorder have that option?
* Is it worth mouse suffering? More broadly, is any medical research worth animal suffering? It is routine. Is there a difference between animals suffering at the hands of humans vs suffering in the wild? Honestly laboratory protocols are often more humane than what happens in my backyard every day.