In my novel, The Gender Divide, women live four times as long as men by shutting down menstruation. There are a number of ramifications of this but one of them is a dramatic decline in the birth rate, especially male birthrates. In order to compensate for this, I postulated an artificial embryogenesis machine that used artificial ova.
Now it appears that the first artificial ovary has been created. The ova were created to
“…study how ovarian cells develop and interact… “
Now the method used isn’t exactly how I envisioned the process but then again, I had a different goal in mind when I ‘created’ artificial ova.
The hero of The Gender Divide, Ryan Peters, has been treated to have the same kind of extended life as women do but the formula for how to do this has been lost. Ryan poses as his own son in order to try and retrieve the formula and so one of the side effects of using artificial ova that I postulated was the lack of the nucleotides that determined hereditary characteristics. As a result, the men who use these artificial ova to have sons (they aren’t allowed to have daughters) that either closely resemble them or in some cases are even identical in appearance.
Of course this research is still in the early stages and relies on donated material as the starting point, something that wouldn’t be feasible in the world I envisioned. However it is exciting to see research in this area, particularly since
“…it could also be used clinically to bring immature eggs to term outside the bodies of women facing cancer treatments or other fertility-hindering treatments.”