I human parthogenesis possible? Could it cause a virgin birth?
Parthogenesis is essentially virgin birth. As far as I know it has never been documented in mammals, though it has been artificially induced. Theoretically, I tend to think anything is possible, however, the problem with mammals reproducing in such a way is that mammalian genetics is subject to genomic imprinting. Genomic imprinting is a bit over my head, but essentially means that certain genes in an egg or sperm are turned off and a working copy only comes from the other parent. A mammal with one parent can lack working copies of genes which leads to pretty serious developmental defects. Parthogenetic experiments on mice have shown viable offspring to be rare.
Human parthenogenesis is possible, that is, it can be thought of. But it is improbable. Human cloning is probable. 'Virgin' has to do with an organ but not with fertilization. Parthenogenesis means no fertilization that means further that a human being would have 24 chromosomes only. A normal human being has 48 chromosomes contributed equally by the man and woman. A woman with Down's syndrome has one extra chromosome.
I thought that this actually happens and that the result is a sterile female with 23 chromosomes...
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