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Arising from the comments in This Question, which started to stray offtopic into the question of whether men are needed at all.

In Short: Could you create a fertilized human (necessarily female) foetus by splicing two eggs together?

Or, alternatively, what it is about sperm that triggers the cell splitting process, and could it be replicated using just X-chromosomes from eggs?

Questions:

  • What is it specifically that triggers the cells to start splitting
  • Could you effectively create an X-Chromosome "sperm payload" using a female Egg
    • If not, what's the difference between a female X-Chromosome (from an egg) and a male X-Chromosome (from sperm) that makes this impossible?

Methods

Clearly this is unlikely to happen naturally in human physiology. A scientific method (preferably using real existing methods, but theoretical will be considered) or achieving fertilization is fine, Provided it doesn't involve using any component that would have to be harvested from males.

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This question asks for hard science. All answers to this question should be backed up by equations, empirical evidence, scientific papers, other citations, etc. Answers that do not satisfy this requirement might be removed. See the tag description for more information.

  • $\begingroup$ I think this might belong on the actual Biology.SE $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Jan 21 '16 at 15:35
  • $\begingroup$ Pretty sure this is possible, but I feel this question belongs over on Biology SE. $\endgroup$ – Draco18s Jan 21 '16 at 15:35
  • $\begingroup$ I thought about it, but I wasn't sure if it would be thrown out for being frankly ridiculous. $\endgroup$ – Ieuan Stanley Jan 21 '16 at 15:37
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What you're looking for is parthenogenesis.
Scientists from Japan have done it with mice, back in 2004 by changing one egg to behave like a sperm cell genetically.

With enough genetic engineering technology it may even be possible to splice a Y chromosome in, and grow males.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yeah this is exactly the answer I found over on Biology.SE. Noone tell the women! $\endgroup$ – Ieuan Stanley Jan 21 '16 at 15:45
  • $\begingroup$ @IStanley Yeah, I'm scared now. What are they going to need us for anymore if they figure this out? $\endgroup$ – Revetahw Jul 17 '16 at 6:52
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Indeed it can, and continues to happen. I present to you:

Dolly. Dolly is a pretty famous sheep. She had three mothers, no father, and a lot of science behind her. She's a clone of another sheep, sure, but I'm confident that your scientists will be able to splice together some frankengenetics, right? At the very least you can pull off some mitochondrial donation from a different mother.

So yeah. We can make XX only embryos using XX only parents. Mixing the genes up might get tricky without causing all manner of problems though. The source code of life is complicated.

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