Laboratory sperm: a hope for children

Laboratory sperm: a hope for children

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Science has just given one more twist to the issue of male infertility by achieving a challenge that has been pursued since the 1970s. Once again, reality is stranger than fiction because scientists have succeeded create sperm in the laboratory using a cultivation method.

Thanks to this discovery, which has been achieved so far only with mice, to be a father in a few years it will not be essential to have fertile sperm. It will be enough with a microscopic testicle sample and a sophisticated culture technique to artificially mature in the laboratory the cells of this tissue until they become sperm ready to fertilize.

This discovery developed by a team from the University of Yokohama, in Japan, and published in the magazine Nature it opens up a new field of possibilities for all mammals. On the one hand, biologists will have the possibility to stop the disappearance of certain endangered species and when, later, this technique can be applied to the human race could work as an insurance policy of fertility against the fear that, at some point in life, there would be damage to the male's testicles. And it is that, for example, today freezing techniques allow men diagnosed with a tumor to freeze sperm before starting chemo and radiotherapy, but in children who have not yet reached puberty this possibility does not exist. However, if the new technique works, the possibility of biopsy the testicle, taking a tissue sample before starting cancer treatment, and thus preserving its fertility, could be considered. Therefore, children with cancer and adult men with progressive sperm loss would be the main beneficiaries. The production of sperm in mammals is a long and complex process that is difficult to reproduce outside of nature. It takes 50 days for sperm precursor cells (spermatogonia) to become fertile sperm inside that natural laboratory that is the testes. Japanese scientists have succeeded in mimicking these same conditions and have succeeded in turning the spermatogonia cells into spermatocytes, and then into spermatids until they reach the state of sperm. The entire process took 42 days, almost the same time nature takes. The rodent pups were born healthy and, most importantly, they are fertile, as no abnormalities have been detected in their development or reproduction phases. At the moment, they are the first steps in an investigation that promises to be long until it is tested with guarantees in humans. Marisol New.

You can read more articles similar to Laboratory sperm: a hope for children, in the category of On-site Fertility Problems.

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