Making Girls From Girls

Here’s a follow-up to my post about parthenogenesis the other day. It turns out there maybe other ways to create a viable female-only society.

As you may know, stem cells are really useful things, because you can encourage them to develop into other types of cell. Lots of other types of cell. But can you use stem cells to grow sperm cells? And if so, can you grow sperm cells from stem cells harvested from a woman? If so, would those sperm cells be able to fertilize an egg? Alternatively, can you make an egg cell from a stem cell harvested from a man?

The point of doing this is that you can then create children that are the true genetic offspring of same-(chromosome)-sex couples. As well as helping lesbians and gays, it would also allow trans women and women with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome to become mothers.

This Telegraph article talks about the current state of research, which reports on a successful attempt to make sperm cells from female embryonic stem cells.

Interesting, especially if you happen to be writing feminist SF.