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Full Version: Biotech Issue- Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
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Just happened to notice this article. Apparently, scientists were able to re-program skin cells and turn them into germ cells, which in turn produced live mouse pups. Granted, it's only mice at this point, but there doesn't seem to be anything other than ethical issues preventing this from being done with humans. Could this be a new type of reproductive tech that could be used in the setting? I could imagine this procedure in combination with artificial wombs would be a very useful idea for a civilization which colonized a new system and needed to grow their population very quickly, or as a way to quickly re-build a population after a disaster.
Interesting - I'd say that this might have definite application within the setting, probably from fairly early in the timeline. There are actually some technical issues even with the mice apparently and possibly more with humans. But given enough time, and assuming something else didn't come along to either replace or totally derail the research, some level of this sort of thing might be done.

I'm not sure it would have application for growing the population really fast, since if you have interstellar travel and colonization ability, you almost certainly have automation advanced enough to make people largely superfluous.

My 2c worth,

The creation of iPSCs still depends on having suitable donor cells. If you have to carry along cell samples anyway might as well just carry sperm and egg samples. This type of research holds promise for infertility treatments more than anything else.

With regards to making organisms really fast if you had artificial womb technology (which would be a ridiculously advanced step forward from now incidentally) your synthetic biology knowledge is likely to be so advanced that you could create a fertilised ovum from a stock pile of biomolecules.

But as Todd says automation is likely to make this redundant. Especially as humans take years to mature and train with constant adult support for most of this.