March 24, 2011

First sperm grown outside the body

After nearly a century of trying, researchers have successfully grown sperm outside the body. From Huffington Post:
Researchers from Yokohama City University in Japan were able to create working sperm from the testicular tissue of mice. The findings were reported in the online journal, Nature, this week.

If the technique proves transferable to humans, the discovery could help scientists identify solutions to male infertility, and provide options to young cancer patients whose treatment causes future infertility, experts say.

By gaining a better understanding of the molecular steps behind sperm formation, scientists could tap into important clues to make in-vitro fertilization possible for men.

For young boys who undergo cancer therapies that cause infertility, the ability to create sperm from human cells would be crucial. There is growing concern that treatments like radiation and chemotherapy could rob young cancer patients of the ability to have children in the future. While young adults have options -- banking sperm or freezing embryos or eggs -- at the moment children diagnosed before puberty don't.
Read more and found out how they did it.

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