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Sexual Reproduction for Same Sex Couples?

同性伴侣可以生孩子了?



Photo by: zoomzoom2
One of the common arguments against gay marriage goes something like this: marriage is an institution that is meant to support reproduction, and same-sex couples can’t sexually reproduce. Full disclosure: I support gay marriage. However, regardless of my opinion, this entry will help debunk this specific argument. More importantly, I will outline three important discoveries that will one day allow same sex couples to have biological children that are purely made from their genes.

反对同性婚姻的一个常用论据是:婚姻为了人类繁衍提供支持的制度,而同行伴侣不能繁育后代。预先澄清一下:我支持同性婚姻。然而,不管我自己的观点是什么,本文都有助于戳穿这个论证。更重要的是,我要概述三项重要的发现,有朝一日,这些发现将允许同性伴侣生育出拥有他们两人的基因的亲生子女。

The definition of sexual reproduction needs to be clarified here. According to Wikipedia, sexual reproduction passes “a combination of genetic material to offspring, resulting in diversity.” I’m going to clarify: sexual reproduction is when the DNA of the two parental units, through the process of meiosis (formation of a gamete) and the process of fertilization, each contribute to ~50% of the genes of the resulting offspring.

首先必须澄清有性生殖的概念。按照维基百科,有性生殖将“亲代基因物质的组合”传递给子代,从而导致了多样性。我要澄清一下:有性生殖是指亲代双方的DNA,通过减数分裂和受精过程,对子代基因各贡献50%。



2. Creation of Oocytes (eggs) from pluripotent stem cells

2.用全能干细胞制造出卵子

Pluripotent stem cells can be directed to “differentiate” into any type of cell in the body. It was reported in 2003 that scientists successfully directed mouse pluripotent stem cells to differentiate into mouse oocytes. What this means is that a skin cell can be taken from any person (male included) reprogrammed into an iPSC, and then the iPSC can be differentiated into an egg cell. This is the discovery that can help two men have a child together.

全能干细胞可以被定向分化成人体的各种细胞。2003年就有报道说科学家已经成功的让老鼠的全能干细胞定向发育成老鼠卵子。这意味着可以任何人的皮肤细胞(包括男性),再编程变成iPSC,然后iPSC再定向分化为卵细胞。这就是能帮助两个男性一起生育后代的发现。

3. Creation of Sperm from pluripotent stem cells

3.用全能干细胞制造出精子。

The same exact logic from eggs can be applied to sperm. Scientists have recently demonstrated the ability to form spermfrom embryonic stem cells. While the team has warned that this science will not be used for fertility treatment, the creation of sperm still has ramifications beyond infertility research. For the purpose of same-sex reproduction, the creation of sperm in vitro can one day help two women have a child together.

制造卵子的逻辑可以完全一样的用到精子上来。科学家最近已经证实胚胎干细胞发育成精子的能力。虽然该团队警告说这一科学发现不会被用来做生育治疗,但制造精子还是有不育研究之外的应用可能。对于同性生育的目的,制造精子的技术有朝一日能帮助两个女人一起生育后代。

Application of these discoveries towards same-sex reproduction:

将这些发现应用到同性生育上:

These three techniques, once perfected will lead to the ability for male/male and female/female couples to have biologicalchildren, children who are a combination of their own genes. The creation of eggs from pluripotent stem cells is important for male/male couples, and the creation of sperm from pluripotent stem cells is important for female/female couples. Below, I will walk step-by-step through the scenarios for male/male and female/female couples.

这三项技术,一旦完善将能让男/男和女/女的伴侣们都能拥有他们双方基因组合的后代。从全能干细胞制造卵子对于男男伴侣,制造精子对于女女伴侣,都至关重要。下面我将一步步说明向同性伴侣们说明所需步骤。

Sexual Reproduction for Gay Couples:

同性恋情侣的有性生殖:

For a gay couple, one man needs to be designated as the father (the one who donates the sperm), and the other as the mother (the one who donates the egg). The “father” in this case can just donate sperm the normal way…no hardcore science is really involved. The “mother,” however, needs to employ the reprogramming and differentiation techniques discussed above. Specifically, this man needs to donate skin cells. These cells must be reprogrammed into iPSCs, and the iPSCs must then be differentiated into eggs (this process is shown to the right). Once the eggs are created, they can be mixed with the sperm from the “father” to create an embryo from two men.

对一对 同性恋伴侣,其中一名男性需要充当父亲(贡献出精子),另一方充当母亲(贡献出卵子)。“父亲”可以按通常的办法贡献出精子...不需要什么科学。“母亲”就需要用到上面讨论的重组与分化的技术了。特别说明,他需要贡献的是皮肤细胞。这些细胞需要重组成iPSC,然后再分化成卵细胞。一旦制造出卵细胞,就可以把它和“父亲”的精子混在一起在制造出这两个男性的胚胎。



译注: 拉拉情侣 ,女同性恋,英文Lesbian,简称LES。 LES有很多是天生的,她们只能和男人做朋友,无法产生爱及性欲 。 但有些喜欢女人,但也有可能喜欢上男人,这些人是双性恋 。 有些人一见男人就紧张害怕,无法交谈,更别提恋爱,所以当她们需要爱时,只有去找女人。这叫恐男症(非学名, 与之相应的有恐女症),是可以医治的 。 心理上的,比如受过创伤,或环境影响,这类的,也是可以改变的。最后,有一类较特殊:那些被男人甩了,就说自己要当LES,再也不爱男人的,只是在逃避现实,也可以说是心理异常(与上面"心理上的"不同)

Either member of this couple is capable of carrying the embryo (or embryos). If they opt to both carry embryos at the same time, I would go so far to say that the children can be considered fraternal twins. There is one important caveat that the women must be aware of: they cannot have a son. Women only carry XX chromosomes, and neither of them are capable of donating the Y chromosome necessary for male development. For this reason, lesbian couples are only capable of having biological daughters.

这对情侣在的每一位都可以怀小孩。如果她们选择两人一起同时怀小孩,我还想走得更远点来断言两个孩子可以被认为是双胞胎。有一个重要的问题要警告拉拉情侣:她们无法生儿子。女儿只有XX染色体,两人都无法贡献Y染色体。因此,拉拉情侣只能生女儿。

Politics, Ethics, and the Like…

政治、伦理及其他

The application of technology towards same-sex reproduction, in my eyes, is an advancement for both gay marriage and science. Scientifically, we are learning more about child development every year, and it will allow us to bring more healthy children into the world. For same-sex couples, the once impossible concept of a biological child is now a real possibility.

同性生育技术的应用在我眼里对同性婚姻和科学都是一种进步。科学上,我们能够更加了解于儿童发育,这能让我们有更多的健康儿童。对同性伴侣,生育亲生子女现在从一个概念变成了真实存在的可能。

While I cannot see any ethical arguments against this type of procedure, I am open to a discussion about how far this may be pushing the envelope. In any case, I am still amazed every time I think about how far we have come with the ability to help people through science.

我看不到有任何伦理学论据能够反对这种过程。我对它能够走多元的讨论保持开放。每次当我想起我们能够用科学帮助人们多少,我都倍感惊奇。