Science Opens Door to Two Biological Dads & No Mum

Gay Fathers

Gay men will now be able to have their own biological children in a few years (Credit: http://www.stonewall.org.uk)

It will be possible for gay men to have their own biological child inside the next few years thanks to breakthrough research from the UK and Israel.

The scientists at Cambridge University and the Weizmann Institute have managed to turn the biological clock back by turning skin cells into stem cells, which in turn can be programmed to become sperm or egg cells.

This means that skin cells from a gay man could be used to produce eggs which would be fertilised with the sperm from his partner to produce a child through In Vitro Fertilisation.

This technology could also help infertile men and women, as well as women who are unable to have their own biological child because their eggs have grown too old.

The scientists state that the technology effectively re-sets the clock, so that the eggs and sperm produced are like newborns, and have not accumulated the DNA mutations that occur in the normal course of a human life.

This means that the eggs or sperms used in this way are less likely to pass on genetic mutations to potential children, the scientists state.

Click below to listen to a discussion on this, on The Morning Show with Declan Meehan on East Coast FM.

 

The 3-D Printing Revolution; DNA test kit reveals Alzheimer’s risk; 2 women give birth using mother’s womb

This perfectly customised arm cast was produced using a three-dimensional printer [Credit: http://www.3ders.org]

The 3D printing revolution is here, with printers using wood, plastic, metal, concrete and even living tissue to make things as diverse as engine parts, replica guns or bionic ears.

Ireland is well placed to be at the forefront of this high-tech manufacturing technology.

The personal genomics industry is exploding. This is the business where DNA kits are sold, over the counter, or online, which use saliva samples to provide reports of risk of Alzheimer’s disease, hereditary cancers and more.

Two British women have given birth – last month – to baby boys with the help of wombs donated from their mothers. This world first took place in Sweden and plans are being made to make the procedure available in other countries.

Click below to hear the interview broadcast on The Morning Show with Declan Meehan on East Coast FM on 4th December 2014

Loss of smell predictor of death; olive oil good for the heart; previous partners influence children’s looks

Loss of smell a predictor of death; olive oil makes the heart beat better; previous lovers influence appearance of offspring sired by new mate

Click below to hear a discussion of these topics on The Morning Show with Declan Meehan – broadcast on East Coast FM on 3rd October 2014

Female cells become sperm; a robot that can do the dishes; What exactly is an atom?

Discussion of What exactly is an atom? and some of the week’s’ top science news stories on East Coast FM’s The Morning Show with Declan Meehan broadcast on Thursday 18th September, 2014

Fathers also experience hormonal changes, ‘baby blues’ and the ticking of a ‘biological clock’

Fathers are also ‘biologically wired’ to care for their children, and experience the ticking of the ‘biological clock’. (Credit: http://www.blogmagazine.org)

As father’s day approaches, it is interesting to see what the scientific evidence is telling us about fathers and babies, and fathers raising children.

The rapid hormonal changes after a baby is born, and the ticking of a ‘biological clock’ are things that have been traditionally associated with women.

However, science is showing that men also undergo huge hormonal changes after a child is born, to make them more suited to nurturing; are more prone to depression after a baby is born; and have far greater difficulty making babies as they age.

This was the topic up for discussion on The Morning Show with Declan Meehan.

LISTEN: Interview with Declan Meehan

Broadcast on East Coast FM on 14th June 2012

Is our Darwinian drive to bring children into the world immoral and selfish?

South African philosopher, Professor David Benatar argues that it is immoral and selfish to bring children into the world (credit: newbornbabyzone.com)

It is the most natural thing in the world for many of us. Find a partner we love, and bring a child, or children into the world. But, is this drive, or need to bring children into the world immoral and selfish?

Well, Professor David Benatar a philosopher, based in Cape Town University, argues that it is, and has backed up that view with well articulated philosophical arguments in his book,  Better to Have Never Been, The Harm of Coming into Existence.

The views of Benatar were the subject of debate at a recent lecture in the 2012 UCC public lecture series when Dr Tom Moore, a reproductive biologist at UCC, outlined the reasons why he believes that Benatar deserves to be taken seriously.

Listen: Interview with Dr Tom Moore

Broadcast on Dublin City FM on 19.01.2012