Two Men can have a Baby thanks to the Research of this Year’s Medicine Nobel Prize Winners

British scientist John Gurdon and Japan’s Shinya Yamanaka were announced as the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize for medicine today and will share the prize of 8 million Swedish crowns. Cambridge University’s John Gurdon won for showing that adult cells contain all the genetic information necessary to create every tissue in the body. That work set the stage for Shinya Yamanaka, who demonstrated that a relatively simple process could convert adult cells into embryonic stem cells.

That development is already opening new avenues of research, and it holds the promise of new ways to repair tissues damaged by injury or disease and also makes it possible for same-sex couples to conceive a child together. According to the Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, Gurdon and Yamanaka have re-written the textbooks.

“These ground-breaking discoveries have completely changed our view of the development and specialisation of cells. We now understand that the mature cell does not have to be confined forever to its specialised state. Textbooks have been rewritten and new research fields have been established. By reprogramming human cells, scientists have created new opportunities to study diseases and develop methods for diagnosis and therapy,” a statement from the Nobel Assembly says.

  

32 thoughts on “Two Men can have a Baby thanks to the Research of this Year’s Medicine Nobel Prize Winners”

    1. I’m more interested to know where Romney currently stands on stem cell research as he could be the next president.

      1. “I’m more interested to know where Romney currently stands on stem cell research as he could be the next president.”

        Don’t you know already? Like all idiots from the far right, they are against it — for only religious reasons, of course. That is, until he or someone in his close, immediate family gets any kind of terminal cancer. Then, he, like all the other religious idiots clamor for more “research” and money so they can say “the lord helped him do it.”

        It’s amazing how stupid all these religious fucktards are when there have been so much information and testing of positive results (more work of that research is needed, for sure) of what we’ve so far accomplished using that very dreaded “stem cell” — you know, the very stuff that otherwise would be trashed after a mother has her baby. For them, the trash can is more preferable to possible (and reasonably quick results) “cures” or close to it for some of these dreaded diseases.

        Long live this fucking stupid “god” that seems to care more about homosexuality [gasp!!!] than any positive medical advances!

        1. When stem cell engineering becomes available to actual medical practice guess who will fight to have control over it to be used in the service of Gawd’s will. Their first priority would be to eliminate the “gay” gene. It could then become the second coming of the Dark age.

        2. Any idea what these “religious reasons” are? Seems to me that this “fucking stupid “god” that seems to care more about homosexuality [gasp!!!] than any positive medical advances” must be some part of your fucked-up American religious sub-culture that manifests around the world via multi-billionaire televangelists that care only about lining their own pockets with wealth. There’s certainly nothing in the Bible that opposes stem cell research.

  1. Does this really say it may be possible for me and my future boyfriend to have a child together that is made up of both our genetic material? If so, holy crap that’s awesome :D.

  2. Same-sex couples create their own babies?
    Ah! That’s until they discover the gene for homosexuality and wipe it off the face of the human genome!

  3. Is this what gays want now, babies made from the DNA of two men, no wonder some call us perverts!

    Why does every gay institution and what is starting to feel like every gay want to involve themselves in the sordid affairs of becoming hetero-normative as far as socially possible. Marriage, babies…truly vacuous nonsense subverting everything it means to be homosexual or “gay”, especially when there is so much of value left to fight for and even more importantly against.

    It seems to be gay these days is to want to be a pre sexual revolution “feminine light”, some kind of backward looking third gender, if you will.

    It’s quite laughable that even gays now want to prop up that old institution of patriarchal (and more likely these days, matriarchal) oppression, the nuclear family.

    1. Tim, what you call ‘hetero-normative’ in such a disparaging way, I consider one of many lifestyles worth valuing. I see value in committing myself to one man for the rest of our lives. I see value in being able to create a new life, or lives, and raising it to maturity. There is nothing ‘vacuous’ nor ‘nonsensical’ about these values.

      otoh: I also see value in allowing those like yourself who don’t see, or wish to see, value in these things to live your life as you wish. All I ask, is that return the favor, and allow me to live my life as I see fit without attacking me.

      If you don’t wish to get married, don’t. Hell I have many hetero friends who won’t ever get married either, by their own choice. But, please.. allow me to live my life as I want as well.

      1. The only value long term monogamy through “marriage” has is quell the individual and to show that the gays are “just like everyone else” (equally repressed and able to deify social and religious institutions). You wish to create life, but in your selfishness (the same selfishness shared by many a hetero, I may add), you do not ask whether you are capable or whether any two men would be capable (perhaps a child needs a mother?). The fact that you think I’m fighting against YOU shows what a self-centred view you have on things.

        I’m actually fighting against acceptance through assimilation into unjust, outdated religious and social nonsense. I suppose the quickest path to “acceptance” always seems the best, but at what cost? I’d wager a loss of any real changes to society for the better (which would suit society down to the ground), hence gays will be accepted somewhat but only as long as they are monogamous, have “Christian values”, want age-matched relationships, worship the nuclear family and so on. You and your type (assimilators) would cast off 95% of “gays”, so the remaining 5% could feel “normal” and “accepted”. I ask you who is not allowing who to live their life as they please?

        1. This is absolutely brilliant Tim. Fantastic!
          “I’m actually fighting against acceptance through assimilation into unjust, outdated religious and social nonsense. I suppose the quickest path to “acceptance” always seems the best, but at what cost? I’d wager a loss of any real changes to society for the better (which would suit society down to the ground), hence gays will be accepted somewhat but only as long as they are monogamous, have “Christian values”, want age-matched relationships, worship the nuclear family and so on. You and your type (assimilators) would cast off 95% of “gays”, so the remaining 5% could feel “normal” and “accepted”. I ask you who is not allowing who to live their life as they please?”

        2. I find it rather sad that you have such a distorted and negative view of family. I have a wonderful, caring and accepting family, and because my family is a bit unusual I’ll add that I know dozens of gay men and women (outside of my family), from their teens to their forties, who cherish and love their biological families. And wouldn’t be without them. If you wish to live without yours that’s fine, but I and all these others I know don’t

          1. I find it rather sad that you’ve drawn such absurd conclusions from my post, perhaps you have difficulty with reading things as they are, without imparting your own emotions on to them. It seems you have the misfortune of thinking the nuclear family is the only type of family that does or has ever existed or that by criticizing the structure, I want to cut parents out of things completely.

            I see you fail to make any counter argument, so think playing the “emotion card” will stifle any further discussion.

            Nice work, truly!

            1. Well judging by your rather harsh response to my and other posts I would say that you too are using the émotional’ card. You do not seem able to accept that not every gay person thinks badly of the nuclear family. You bandy figures with no backup, you make claims that I have no knowledge of other ‘styles’of family. (Polygomy anyone)
              And just what does it mean to be homosexual or gay? Dozens of one night stands? Partying all night at clubs, getting pissed to the point where you can’t walk, taking drugs? ( Non of these are day only activities) Wearing leather or drag? Being a twink or a bear? All these can be just as styfling as the suburban white picket fence idea. Fine for some but not for everyone. So what do you want other than the nuclear family?

    2. You are absolutely right Tim!!! Every problem in the world today is somehow connected to too many people knocking out too many babies and these gay fools want to jump on the bandwagon. It’s the laugh of the century. “Hetero-normative” indeed!

  4. I think the concept of a single “gay gene” is a bit hilarious. Have a look at something relatively “simple” like hair, eye, or skin color. No one of those traits is controlled by a single, or even a few genes. We’re not bacteria, human genetics are a bit more complex than that. Throw in that while homosexuality has been shown to have a genetic link, it has not been shown whether or not, or to what degree a person’s experiences, particularly as a child, can influence their adult sexuality. I don’t expect to see any experiments with this issue, as the ethics are messy to say the least.
    So could the gay gene be eliminated? It’s not impossible; but that’s WAY beyond anything that humans could even begin to pursue.

    1. I share your viewpoint, Tim. The concept of a “gay gene” seems to fly in the face of all theories of human origins – particularly the Darwinian evolution model, based on the premise that the survival of a species depends upon those genetic traits most suitable to (among others) procreation. Nature appears to have decided that, for whatever reasons, a child needs both a male and female parent.

      1. “Nature appears to have decided that, for whatever reasons, a child needs both a male and female parent.”

        True indeed, if possible. But that [nature] isn’t intended that every “child” must mature into a biological parent. Because we have our decision-making abilities (as well as reasoning), some of us will not be parents, and thus homosexuality [for some] — a very natural selection.

        Now, if we can just get the [unnaturally] stupid religious to accept that premise, it could make all lives a lot better.

      2. To me nature doesn’t really appear to decide on anything. Thing happen. It just happened that two different sexes evolved from single-sex species and that in most cases both became necessary to reproduce. However it also happen that humans became quite intelligent and got the ability to change some things that happen because we are not so happy with them. So please don’t substitue something like god with nature – there is no descision-making-entity and if there was we certainly wouldn’t call it nature.

        1. “To me nature doesn’t really appear to decide on anything.”

          Don’t put too much “human stock” in that word, “decide.”

          “Thing[s] happen.”

          That’s pretty much what nature is all about, right?

          1. Exactly. Nature doesn’t decide in any way that word is usually interpreted. And yes – the happenig of things is what led to the existance of something we call nature. However the mere fact that something, be it a sole concept exists doen’t give it any value over something else. Evolution hasn’t stoped and now we are part of what forms future developments in the world’s species. Humans have become a factor like climate or competitors and if we find a way to allow same sex couple to procreate than we have no tool available to objectivly object against something like that.

  5. Wouldn’t having a child together mean that cells from two individuals of the same gender were combined in some way? That doesn’t seem to be the process they are talking about here which is taking a cell from just one person and turning into an embryonic stem cell.

    I’ve been following the news of this elsewhere and no one else seems to be talking about gay couples being able to use the potential of this process to procreate. Again, the idea seems to be that we can now, or one day soon, take adult cells and turn them into stem cells which we can then develop into tissue identical to the original (complete with the same problems if there are any). That isn’t the same thing as taking cells from two completely separate people and splicing them together to create a new person. I don’t yet see evidence that this is possible without egg cells and sperm cells being used together, and obviously you need someone of the opposite sex to give you the one type you don’t already have if you are to procreate.

    I think you are thinking about cloning and gene splicing but that’s different.

    1. I think the idea is to first get back the mature cell to a stem cell state; and then reprogram it to turn it into an egg cell.

      But can one really erase the whole cell memory ? Remember Dolly clone story.

      1. I believe you are correct. That is how I comprehend the latest research. I also share your question re: cell memory.

      2. these reprogrammed stem cells are shown to be equivalent to embryonic stem cells in every way, shape and form so id assume there is no “memory” left (after all that’s what “reprogram” means).

        embryonic stem cells (or these reprogrammed stem cells) are not egg cells and cannot form an embryo on their own. so far they are only good for research in a tissue culture dish or for making “chimaric” animals (an animal derived partly from the original embryo and partly from injected embryonic or reprogrammed stem cells). it has been done in mice and pigs. but we can’t attempt to make chimaric humans can we? it’d be worse than human cloning.
        the problem is there is no way to make embryonic stem cells (or equivalent cells) grow into a particular tissue type or organ and i dont think they’ll find a way any time soon. if injected into a fully developed individual these stem cells give rise to tumors rather than regenerate damaged/aged tissue

        1. As far as I know they “only” managed to pruduce pluripotent not omnipotent cells. The latter ones are the ones able to become every other cell possible and are usually on their own able to produce an entire individual of their own species if they are sufficiently nourished (womb). However pluripotent cells are able to become a whole bunch of other cells like gametes. Therefor you might be able to turn male pluripotent cells into egg-cells wich you be artificially fertalized and evolve into a child with two biological fathers.

          I read a few day ago that they did the same to mice with IPSCs and where able to produce perfectly healthy mice with two biological fathers.

          Look: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21820164
          http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/10/oocytes-normal-mice.html

  6. I don’t really have an opinion on this but I think if I did settle down with a life partner I’d still highly consider adoption.

  7. Some interesting questions and comments have come up recently re: gay marriage and children. I am bisexual and it took me a long time to come to that conclusion as I had joined the army in an effort to supress my homosexuality and become a real man. I have had two failed marriages and stormy relationships inbetween. In the back of my mind was always the haunting thought of my high school boyfriend who dumped me because he didn’t want to be gay. Interesting how we both went on to live parallel lives. We each married and divorced twice. We each moved out of state late in life and cut ourselves off from our families. He had kids and I avoided kids of my own. He had loving parents I did not.

    Would I have stayed with a partner if I were in a same sex relationship? I really think it is doubtful and my bisexual disposition may have something to do with that together with my truely horrid family life while growing up.

    During the 60’s it was not acceptable to be a bachelor or to divorce. The guilt was overwhelming at the time. I am happy with todays acceptande of bachelorhood as well as increasing gay tolerance although I’m frighted to come out of the closet. I cherrish the right to be alone and for me any form of family life is scary. I really do enjoy my freedom and my friends. Marriage is not right for eveyone. It is so nice to have a choice which wasn’t always acceptable based on religous grounds.

    1. “During the 60′s it was not acceptable to be a bachelor or to divorce.”

      WTF???

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