Scientists in Spain are claiming they've made a breakthrough that could have major implications for the way we humans make new humans. Scientists at the Valencian Infertility Institute published on Tuesday they had created human sperm from skin cells, Agence France-Presse reported.
Researchers actually turned a "mature skin cell" into a "germ cell," which has the potential to develop into a sperm or an egg, but it "did not have the ability to fertilize," AFP reported.
This research could mean more options down the line for same-sex parents who want to conceive a child that is genetically related to both of them. An article published in the Journal of Law and the Biosciences in December suggested in vitro gametogenesis — or IVG, which creates gametes from stem cells — may eventually be used to help same-sex couples or families who can't conceive children naturally.
Carlos Simon, scientific director of the Valencian Infertility Institute, said their work needs more time before it leads to baby-making.
"This is a sperm but it needs a further maturation phase to become a gamete. This is just the beginning," Simon told AFP. "With the human species we must do much more testing because we are talking about the birth of child. ... We are talking about a long process."