Saturday, July 2, 2011

A perfect child

Have you ever had a best friend that seems to be the opposite of you and yet at the same time the same? I have a best friend and it seems our brains work differently when solving a problem but we have similar like and dislikes. Well the other day he asked me if there was any way to take 2 of our sperm and create a child. It was a joke, but the question got me thinking and my answer is maybe.

When a sperm comes in contact with an egg the egg releases little vesicles right below the cell's membrane that create a barrier as to block any more sperm from entering. However this does not happen all at once, but like a domino effect starting where the sperm enters. If you are able to slip an extra sperm into the egg before the barrier is complete there are a couple more issues. One being the dangers of having 3 sets of chromosomes (this is bad). In order for this to be avoided the egg would have to have its genetic information removed. There were experiments with this done to see if it would affect the egg once the sperm came in contact with it and the results showed that the genetic information does not play a role in regular egg functions, only contributing DNA to the offspring. This is not unusual for a nucleus to have a small role in cell function since mature red blood cells eject their nuclei to make room for hemoglobin. So if 2 sperm made first contact and the egg was empty there is yet one more issue that can be found in my mind, where does the mitochondrial DNA come from? Mitochondrial DNA is almost always (always really) inherited from the mother, so the question is: who's do we use? A flip of the coin and a little addition of a mitochondria would solve this. Some of you may be thinking: well what about the Y chromosome? Simple the child would be a girl, blend of both X chromosomes.

The idea may seem crazy and it is. There is no desire for me to create a child from 2 sperm and it should not be done. It is very dangerous for the offspring and the chances of it being successful are very slim. But in theory it could... maybe... be done.

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