Schoolchildren learn in Biology 101 that most human cells have two sets of 23 chromosomes — one from the mother and another from the father. The only exceptions are reproductive cells from sperm and eggs, which each have one set.
In a paper published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, they report that these are the first human cells that are capable of cell division with just one copy of a genome of a parent.
Scientists have previously created so-called haploid embryonic stem cells for mice.
This breakthrough has huge implications for progress in everything from gene editing to reproductive and regenerative medicine. The researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Columbia University Medical Center and the New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute explained the implications of their work in this nifty video:
Researchers Nissim Benvenisty, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and principal co-author of the study, and Ido Sagi, a PhD student, said in a statement that their work also provides a novel way to study human development and may help solve mysteries like why we reproduce sexually, while some other creatures can create offspring by themselves.
'Siri, I want to commit suicide’ and other statements likely to yield unhelpful responses from your phone