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Scientists have been able to breed mice without the help of a male

Scientists have just achieved something quite exceptional. They managed to give birth to a litter of mice without having used a male to fertilize the egg of the female.

One might think of a miracle, but in reality it is an example of what is called parthenogenesis. Science defines the latter as reproduction from unfertilized eggs.

According to scientists, this phenomenon has never been observed in nature in mammals.

An altered reproduction pattern

According to the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesthe researchers managed to modify the genes of unfertilized mouse embryos to give birth to baby mice without involving sperm.

The group of scientists then proceeded to transfer these embryos into female mice. These gave birth to litters of mice. The researchers were able to successfully raise one of these fatherless mice to adulthood. This surviving mouse then bred with another mouse to create more offspring.

An event never before seen in mammals

Although this birth can be described as “miraculous”, the phenomenon of parthenogenesis is not new and is even frequent in nature. For example, some species of salamanders and frogs are able to reproduce without the intervention of a male. However, to date, no case of parthenogenesis has yet been recorded in mammals in the wild.

The scientists behind this study hope to be able to use the results obtained to be able to find new treatments against infertility. They also hope to create opportunities in agriculture, research, and medicine.

It should be noted, however, that this is completely new research. The team was only able to raise one of the fatherless mice. The researchers also said they still don’t fully understand how the genetic modification may have impacted the baby mice.

In any case, this is a huge advance in terms of parthenogenesis in mammals and potentially in humans.

SOURCE: Futuristic

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