There's hope for gay couples out there who want children using both partner's DNA.
Scientists in Bath have successfully produced 30 mouse pups by combining sperm cells and skin cells of different mice, with a success rate of 24 percent. That's much higher than the 1-2 percent success rate found in typical cloning experiments.
"Our work challenges the dogma, held since early embryologists first observed mammalian eggs around 1827 and observed fertilization 50 years later, that only an egg cell fertilized with a sperm cell can result in live mammalian birth," said lead scientist Tony Perry, who studies molecular embryology at the University of Bath, in Independent's report.
However, the research isnt't ready for human experimentation.
"The practical applications of this as the technology stands at the moment are not very broad," Dr. Perry explained. "What we're saying is that these embryos are mitotic cells--mitotic cells are the type of cell that almost every dividing cell in your body is. And therefore potentially one day we might be able to extend what we've shown in these mitotic cells to other mitotic cells."
The science, if further developed, could help more than only same-sex couples. Women who've had eggs damaged by chemotherapy or are otherwise infertile might be able to use other tissue, such as skin, as the source of DNA to create children.
"Will we be able to do that? I don't know," Dr. Perry continued. "But I think, if it is ever possible, one day in the distant future people will look back and say this is where it started."