(NaturalNews) In a move that is casting some serious doubt on assumptions about reproduction that have been held for centuries, scientists have just managed to breed mice without the need for fertilized eggs.

The team of embryologists at the UK’s University of Bath injected sperm into embryos and successfully spurred full-term development. One of the researchers, Tony Perry, told the Telegraph: “Our work challenges that dogma, held since early embryologists first observed mammalian eggs in around 1827 and observed fertilisation 50 years later, that only an egg cell fertilised with a sperm cell can result in a live mammalian birth.”

This means that a fertilized egg might not actually be the only thing that can divide and bring about life after all, and it also indicates that an egg cell is not the only type of cell that can reprogram sperm to spur embryonic development. This opens up the possibility of using other types of cells to accomplish this feat.

Until now, it was believed that a female egg was the only thing that could incite the changes in sperm needed to create a baby, because eggs form a specific type of cell division wherein only half of the number of chromosomes get carried over. Sperm cells also form in this way, so when an egg and sperm meet, they are able to form the full genetic quota; half of the DNA comes from the mother and the other half from the father.

The researchers took unfertilized eggs from female mice and managed to coax them into becoming a sort of “pseudo-embryo” called a parthenogenote, and the experiment reported a success rate of 24 percent. All of the resultant pups seem to be perfectly healthy, and some of them have gone on to have pups of their own in the traditional way. These subsequent generations also noted similar life expectancies. …continue reading at Natural News

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