PARIS: Scientists have succeeded in producing a mouse without the aid of sperm or cloning, according to the British scientific review Nature. The mouse, created by a Japanese team headed by Tomohiro Kono of the Tokyo University of Agriculture, is the product of genetic material drawn exclusively from females.

It is said to be the first healthy fertile mammal to reach adulthood as a result of parthenogenesis, or non-sexual reproduction. Parthenogenesis, from the Greek words for virgin birth, is found among some insects, fish and reptiles in which the unfertilised egg retains two sets of chromosomes and starts to develop as if it has been fertilised. But among mammals it has hitherto been regarded as virtually impossible. — AFP