Japanese researchers have successfully taken adult mice skin cells, reverted them to stem cells, and then turned those skin cells into an egg.  That alone would be a huge technological achievement, but they didn’t stop there.  They fertilized and implanted those eggs, resulting in 11 live births (which reflects less than 1% of all attempts, so while the process was inefficient, it is a proof-of-concept).

As Wesley J. Smith points out, this could be replicated with human cells in the future, and that will open the doors to human cloning since it will remove the egg dearth problem.  From there, it’s genetic engineering and the brave new world.  I’m not so sure the egg dearth problem would be averted, however, since the culture required to mature the eggs requires a certain kind of cell that can only be obtained from embryos.  If you need embryos to make eggs, you can only make as many eggs as you have embryos.  Of course, the technique used for creating mouse eggs would not be the exact same process used to create human eggs, so the same embryonic cells may not be necessary by the time scientists are able to create human eggs.  Time will tell.

If this process is perfected for humans, it may also allow same-sex couples to father their own children without the aid of a female.

Articles:

WSJ

The Telegraph

Phys.org

Nature

Science

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