Our forebears couldn’t figure out how maggots could just up and appear in a corpse, or how oysters just seemed to materialize in the sea. They had to have been spontaneously generating, no sex required.
In the 17th century, physician and chemist Jean Baptiste van Helmont devised a home recipe for the manufacture of mice. It was quite simple, really, far simpler than getting a girl mouse and boy mouse together with a tiny bottle of wine: “If a soiled shirt is placed in the opening of a vessel containing grains of wheat,” he wrote, “the reaction of the leaven in the shirt with fumes from the wheat will, after approximately 21 days, transform the wheat into mice.”
Isn’t modern knowledge a wonderful thing?
You can read more in an article by Matt Simon in the Wired.com web site at http://goo.gl/Q5ielV.