Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's a girl - what else?

There is worrying news for future family lawyers in the May issue of the BBC Focus magazine. With sperm counts dropping, they speculate that within a hundred years scientists could perfect the process of parthenogenesis in humans, combining the unfertilised eggs from one woman to create an embryo. This may preserve the human genome, but it has one drawback, at least for us men. Because only genetic material from the mother is used, the offspring only have X chromosomes, and are therefore all female.

Now, any female readers may think that this is no bad thing, but before you start celebrating I should say that the article concludes that the above scenario is unlikely, in view of technical and ethical difficulties. Meanwhile, I suggest that any future family lawyers hedge their bets by offering another specialism as well!

6 comments:

  1. Don't worry John, we women can be a bitchy crowd, so there'll be plenty of work on the Civil Partnership front. Oh I forgot, there'll only be female lawyers to deal with it!

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  2. :-) I did think of civil partnerships, but parthenogenesis only requires one parent, so there'll probably be fewer partnerships and no children disputes between 'parents'! You women family lawyers may be the only ones left, but there'll hardly be any work for you!

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  3. It won't take that long. They're inducing reproduction in single ova now and they've already produced a mouse with two mommies (an X from each of two females.) I think it's probably possible now but male scientist are afraid to admit it. (I've seen angry reactions when they're questioned about it that make me think they're not happy about the prospect.) I'm waiting for some couple of power lesbians to pay someone to do it for humans any time now. That will be the true beginning of gender equality.

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  4. It'll be interesting to see what the family courts do when the first lesbian parents of such a child split up and there's no father to discrimate against.

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  5. Being in a profession dominated by men 15:1 I sometimes think if a few got eaten it would be no bad thing, as long as I didn't have to do the eating. But then if there were no men who would loosen the bolts on the car wheels when the tyre is flat?

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  6. You see? We do have a purpose! :-)

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