Researchers use gene-editing to create mice with same-sex parents

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Scientists in China have successfully used gene editing and stem cell techniques to produce mice with two mothers.

The researchers used cells called haploid embryonic stem cells which contained half of the usual number of chromosomes from one mouse and took DNA from another, according to a study published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

The scientists then used Crispr-Cas9 to delete the imprinting from three regions of the DNA by cutting out a single letter of the genetic code which made the genetic material appear more "male."

Without the correct pattern of male and female imprinting, a viable embryo cannot be produced.

The embryonic stem cells were then injected into the eggs of a different female mouse which then developed into embryos. This produced 29 live mice from 210 embryos.

The researchers also tried the same technique on two male mice. It involved cutting off seven imprintings from the DNA of the male mouse instead of three from the female mouse.

The embryo from the male mouse was successfully created, however the baby mouse only survived for 48 hours after birth.

The scientists say the mice were healthy and went on to have mice of their own.

The author of the study said this technique would be ten times more difficult for humans and primates.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. A baby mouse with two female mice behind it
2. Haploid embryonic stem cells from one mouse and DNA from another mouse
3. DNA being edited
4. The stem cells being added into another female mouse and a baby mouse

VOICEOVER (in English):
"Scientists in China have successfully used gene editing and stem cell techniques to produce healthy mice with two mothers."

"According to a study published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, the researchers used cells called haploid embryonic stem cells, which contained half of the usual number of chromosomes from one mouse and took DNA from another mouse."

"The scientists then used Crispr-Cas9 to delete the imprinting from three regions of the DNA by cutting out a single letter of the genetic code which made the genetic material appear more 'male.'"

"The embryonic stem cells were then injected into the eggs of a different female mouse which developed into embryos. This produced 29 live mice from 210 embryos."

SOURCES: The Guardian, BBC News, The Independent, Forbes, National Geographic, Scientific American, Reuters, Cell Stem Cell Journal
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/oct/11/mice-same-sex-parents-born-same-sex-reproduction-humans
https://www.bbc.com/news/health-45801043
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/mice-born-same-sex-parents-two-mums-healthy-reproduce-experiment-china-stem-cells-a8579466.html
https://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriaforster/2018/10/11/researchers-have-created-healthy-mice-from-same-sex-parents-but-why/#30e5cf305a75
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2018/10/news-gene-editing-crispr-mice-stem-cells/
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/same-sex-mice-parents-give-birth-to-healthy-brood/
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-samesex-mice/scientists-use-stem-cells-and-gene-editing-to-make-mice-with-two-mums-idUSKCN1ML25X
https://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/fulltext/S1934-5909(18)30441-7