Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Medical Red blood cells can turn into a sperm or an egg?

  1. Jun 26, 2018 #1
    With the advances of science, will it be possible to turn red cells into sperm or turn them into eggs to help a man who has lost both testicles or a woman who has lost her ovaries?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 26, 2018 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    2018 Award

    Red bloods cells (in humans) have no nucleus or DNA.
    You would have to try a different kind of cell that still has it DNA in order to have a chance of doing this.
  4. Jun 26, 2018 #3
    Hmmm... Bill, I'm learning Biology, I'm imagining which type of cell would be used in the future for this purpose.o_O
  5. Jun 26, 2018 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    2018 Award

    I don't know what would work, but i do know what won't.
    You might want to look into the kinds of cells stem cells can be generated from.
    White blood cell would be easy to collect (being blood) and still have their nuclei, but there are plenty of other kinds of cells that can be relatively easily obtained.

    There may (or may not) be issues concerning the source of the cells used to make the stem cells and what kinds of differentiated cells they might become.

    You could do a google search something like this one to try to track down more information on it.
  6. Jun 26, 2018 #5
    Thanks, Bill!
  7. Jun 26, 2018 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

  8. Jun 27, 2018 #7
    If you want something to dwell on, to perhaps guide your search of cell types, here's this. Cell types arise from differentiation of DNA expression, i.e., naked DNA acquires epigene markers that irreversibly direct the expression of DNA along different paths required by different cells. As cells develop, they spin off RNA according to which active genes are expressed, but only germline transmission of expression/transfer vector DNA, not RNA occurs.ª

    Hence, the DNA which is most pliable to expression, i.e. unmarked naked DNA is the best indicator for the presence in gametes. Here's your thought: find the cell type with the least RNA or RNA specific to the type in gametes and focus on creating your sperm or eggs. A cautionary note, however, I don't believe it is ethical to alter naked DNA before creating gametes, so a "clean" naked DNA is requisite.

  9. Jul 1, 2018 #8
    What are the epigene markers?
    And why is not ethical create gametes or sperm from naked DNA?
  10. Jul 10, 2018 #9
    Hello Jose

    Epigenetic marks (pulling a definition) are features not directly governed by the genetic code, which include methylation of DNA and covalent modification of histone proteins. The latter may also be tagged with methyl, acetyl, ubiquitin, phosphate, poly(ADP)ribose and other biochemical groups. These groups and their particular pattern of protein modification (e.g. mono-, bi-, tri-methylated at different amino acids and combinations of amino acids) modify the function of the tagged proteins and influence the way genes are expressed. https://www.epigenesys.eu/en/learn/glossary/epigenetic-marks

    Years ago there were a number of cross-disciplinary meetings involving scientists and the public (Asilomar, one example) and ethics guidelines were formulated. One, specifically, restricts experiments in germline recombinant gene manipulation to species not able to live outside specially devised laboratory conditions. A human walking about freely could generally be able to live outside a lab, so artificial gametes are a kind of "third rail" when speaking of human stem cells. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asilomar_Conference_on_Recombinant_DNA
  11. Jul 11, 2018 #10
    It may be possible someday to rectify those conditions, and numerous others that were previously irremediable.

    The production processes of male and female gametogenesis are meiotic (suggested search terms: meiosis, gametogenesis, spermatogenesis, oogenesis, spermatocyte, oocyte), whereas red blood cells are generated by erythropoiesis.

    All of those generative processes involve various kinds of stem cells, which are likely to be foundationally involved in future cell and organ optative generation or regeneration possibilities.
  12. Jul 12, 2018 #11
    What is the importance of methyla to our organism?

    There are many secrets that scientists yet didn't discover about these cells...
  13. Jul 12, 2018 #12

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    methyla=methylation. It means adding a methyl group to DNA. This is a crude drawing of a methyl group:
    Code (Text):

    H-C- ?
    Where C=carbon atom, H= hydrogen atom, ?= available binding site on the methyl group
    Effect: methyl groups are added (chemically bound to DNA) usually as a result of an environmental effect. Example: smoking damages cells, and it changes the DNA in those cells. Called: epigenetics. It means that if you have identical twins, their DNA at birth is very, very similar. At age 50 their DNA will be different from each other because it was changed.

    I hope this video will help you:

    Please stop asking these kinds of questions. They are very vague, and any of them can be answered by a simple google search. And it seems to me that you need to do some reading before asking more questions. Please. Thank you.

    Also, please stop making unsupported statements like the one in red above. Cite a reasonable article to support your statements. Otherwise, these comments will get you in trouble because they do not meet PF basic requirements

  14. Jul 12, 2018 #13
    I interpreted that statement as a mere observation that scientists have yet a great deal to learn about stem cells -- something acknowledging stem cell research as a promising area of future scientific discovery -- if that idea needs support to be presented on PF, here's a visual cite in support of it (SCR is an open access journal):

    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?