I'm trying to make a world that human sex ratio is 2:8 (male:female). Most of the females are homosexual, and male is not necessary for reproduction. I thought it was easy at first, just say that there is technology for combining two eggs... but I discover that there is a phenomenon called Genomic imprinting.

Due to genomic imprinting, some genes are deactivated in eggs, and some genes are deactivated in sperms. So no offspring can be produced by combining two eggs.

If we remove imprint of genes related to growth, then it is possible to produce offspring. But the probability is still very low. See this experiment on a mouse.

I want to make "there is no genomic imprinting in human in this world" as axiom. But I don't know whether genomic imprinting plays important role in some process in human. Are there any side effects if we don't have genomic imprinting? Such as intellectual and developmental disability... (I know there may be some sociological consequences, I want to focus on biology first.)

P.S. Science is like that.... If you change something for some purpose, there is always side effects, especially physics, sometimes your idea cannot be used because of the side effects.


2 Answers 2


Probably not.

I say this for a few reasons.

  1. Most organisms aren't believed to have any genomic imprinting or other parent-of-origin effects on gene expression. The phenomenon is only seen in mammals, flowering plants, and a couple other organisms. This suggests imprinting isn't essential for most organisms.

  2. Only a handful of genes in the human genome are believed to be imprinted. Since the vast majority of genes aren't affected at all by the parent they came from imprinting isn't a major way in which the human genome is regulated.

  3. The genes that are imprinted primarily play roles in embryonic development. This has led to the theory that genes are imprinted because the different parents have different priorities for the child. The father wants the child to grow large and be healthy at the expense of the mother, and the mother wants to ensure her own health before the child's.

Essentially, abnormal imprinting causes serious problems for developing embryos because they get too much or too little expression of certain genes, but imprinting itself isn't an overly important aspect of development. It's theorized that it just affects how large the child will grow. If the imprinted genes were regulated in the same way as the rest of the genome human offspring would likely do just fine.


The first and most obvious hurdle to over come is simply this.

In a human female their eggs are not produced in the same manner as sperm (meaning men can replenish their stock)

Eggs on the other hand have a relatively limited supply that drop on a cycle and once used are not replaced.

The problem arises when you consider that eggs are stored together...as in...they touch, which means that the entire female reproductive system would have to be redesigned. Eggs combining in the ovaries and starting the growth of an infant would be real...real bad for ladies.

  • $\begingroup$ So I wrote this utterly sure that my biology facts are correct but it has been something like 7 years since my biochemistry courses in college and now I am doubting myself. Did I misstate anything? $\endgroup$
    – James
    Jul 29, 2015 at 18:15
  • $\begingroup$ Is it ok to take out the DNA of one egg cell, then insert it into another egg cell $\endgroup$
    – fairytale
    Jul 29, 2015 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ @fairytale modern science would likely frown upon that (at least inside of a person) I do not know what the impact of that would be...inside or in a petri dish. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Jul 30, 2015 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ @James the "limited supply" assumption has been challenged, e.g. news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/02/… $\endgroup$
    – o11c
    Jul 30, 2015 at 22:44

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