MadSci Network: Development

Subject: Will it ever be possible to combine two human oocytes to form a zygote?

Date: Fri May 12 15:27:17 2000
Posted by Jessica Kerns-McClelland
Grade level: teacher/prof School: Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
City: Portland State/Province: OR Country: No country entered.
Area of science: Development
ID: 958159637.Dv

In the lab, could the DNA of one oocyte fertilize another oocyte and 
produce a zygote?  This will still result in the required number of 
chromosomes and if you manipulated the oocytes, you would not have to 
worry, as in nature, about using enzymes to get through the zona pellucida.

However, would this also not be possible in the lab because of the process 
called imprinting on paternal and maternal chromosomes?  Could imprinting 
be altered someday?
I realize that this is a non-evolutionary line of thinking.  We HAVE 
sexual reproduction to increase genetic variability.  However, what can 
scientists actually manipulate to produce a zygote?  And is this something 
that could be done someday or will humans always have to have a male 
gamete and a female gamete even in the lab?

Re: Will it ever be possible to combine two human oocytes to form a zygote?

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