Now You Can Have 2 Biological Fathers?

The good news: scientists have found a way for a two gay daddies to have children. The bad news: right now it only works on mice.

With stem cell technology, Texas researchers managed to get two male mice to donate their genetic material to an offspring. I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT EITHER. Of course they’re more concerned with helping endangered species reproduce, not the gays having kids, but whatevs. Explains

In the work reported today, the Behringer team manipulated fibroblasts from a male (XY) mouse fetus to produce an induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell line. About one percent of iPS cell colonies grown from this XY cell line spontaneously lost the Y chromosome, resulting in XO cells. The XO iPS cells were injected into blastocysts from donor female mice. The treated blastocysts were transplanted into surrogate mothers, which gave birth to female XO/XX chimeras having one X chromosome from the original male mouse fibroblast. The female chimeras, carrying oocytes derived from the XO cells, were mated with normal male mice. Some of the offspring were male and female mice that had genetic contributions from two fathers.

According to the authors, “Our study exploits iPS cell technologies to combine the alleles from two males to generate male and female progeny, i.e. a new form of mammalian reproduction.” The technique described in this study could be applied to agriculturally important animal species to combine desirable genetic traits from two males without having to outcross to females with diverse traits. “It is also possible that one male could produce both oocytes and sperm for self-fertilization to generate male and female progeny,” the scientists point out. Such a technique could be valuable for preserving species when no females remain.

In the future, it may also be possible to generate human oocytes from male iPS cells in vitro. Used in conjunction with in vitro fertilization, this would eliminate the need for female XO/XX chimeras, although a surrogate mother would still be needed to carry the two-father pregnancy to term.

Alas, it means two gay daddies still need a mommy to have the babies, but who else is excited to see what family court is going to look like in thirty years? Two biological dads can fight for custody with the biological mother. FUN!