Infertile men could grow their own sperm

Scientists have managed to create artificial sperm, opening the door to fatherhood for thousands of infertile men

Fertility experts have championed Japanese scientists who have successfully implanted early sperm cells, made from stem cells, into infertile mice to produce healthy young. The breakthrough could allow thousands of men to embrace fatherhood.

Kyoto University team created sperm from scratch and succeeded in using it to produce healthy young. Remarkably the baby mice in the experiment also went on to produce offspring themselves.

Dr Jane Stewart, a spokesperson for the British Fertility Society, says the ability to generate gametes or gamete producing cells in the lab would be a landmark achievement in the understanding and treatment of fertility problems.

‘This publication in an animal model marks a further step towards this goal,’ she says. ‘However, much work remains to be done before we have a full understanding of such biological processes and indeed the implications of undertaking them in a lab.’

Dr Allan Pacey explains: ‘This has huge implications for furthering our understanding of how sperm are made but may also one day lead to a clinical application whereby we could make sperm for infertile men.’

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