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Jesuit geneticist skeptical about Australian research breakthrough

An emeritus professor of human genetics at the Catholic University of Rome has dismissed as scientifically problematic claims by a Monash University scientist that human eggs may be fertilised using genetic material from any cell in the body, not just sperm.

"It creates a situation in which it is practically impossible to achieve the desired result, even at the scientific level," Dr Angelo Serra told Vatican Radio. "There is the phenomenon of imprinting, namely, the need to have real masculine chromosomes for an individual to be able to develop normally."

Professor Serra added that there is also a grave risk - perhaps even a certainty - of very serious malformations of the individuals who are developed.

He criticised the media for what he sees as the irresponsible manner in which it reported the discovery.

"To report news such as this, in the sensational way it has in recent days, is to create a situation not only of curiosity but of morbidness. Lesbians might think: "Now we can also have a child," something that, even in the present scientific situation, is absolutely false," Professor Serra concluded.