08 Jul 2009

Males No Longer Needed For Reproduction?

Scientists in Newcastle, UK have figured out how to create sperm cells from human embryos. The researchers believe the work could eventually help men with fertility problems to conceive, though they think it will be at least 5 years before the technique is perfected. Other experts say they are not convinced that fully developed sperm have been created. Full details and video on BBC News

How they did it:
They began with stem cell lines derived from human embryos donated following IVF treatment. The stem cells had been removed when the embryo was a few days old and were stored in tanks of liquid nitrogen. The stem cells were brought to body temperature and put in a chemical mixture to encourage them to grow. They were “tagged” with a genetic marker which enabled the scientists to identify and separate so-called “germline” stem cells from which eggs and sperm are developed. The male, XY stem cells underwent the crucial process of “meiosis” – halving the number of chromosomes. The process over creating and developing the sperm took four to six weeks. The Newcastle team say the sperm were fully mature, mobile sperm and they have produced a video to back up the research.

“This understanding could help us develop new ways to help couples suffering infertility so they can have a child which is genetically their own.”

Reminds me of that episode of Star Trek about the planet of women that figured out how to reproduce without men. I often wondered if that would ever be a possibility in my lifetime. But at the cost of extracting them out of a fertilised egg, a developing embryo – this will likely be a topic of huge debate for decades.

Comments

  • Olivia Meiring
    July 13, 2009 Reply

    No… no I tried that already. Unfortunately for some women there's really no substitute for the real thing.

  • Dan Foley
    July 13, 2009 Reply

    i think some might say we aren't even needed for that!

  • Olivia Meiring
    July 13, 2009 Reply

    haha well… you know, I don't think I'm going to spoil the surprise. Its a big one!

  • Tara Weatherburn
    July 11, 2009 Reply

    Sorry ironing is included under the chores category lol cant think of anything else?? diy? mowing the lawn? i pass tell me…

  • Olivia Meiring
    July 11, 2009 Reply

    Oh Tara, how could you forget their most important task to us?

  • Tara Weatherburn
    July 8, 2009 Reply

    we could just keep them locked up and let them out for good behaviour oh and chores.. mwahahaha *evil laugh*

  • Olivia Meiring
    July 8, 2009 Reply

    haha Tara! Morgan, its unladylike to gloat :PDan, I'm not sure what women will decide in the future. My guess is as long as men are a fun time just for fun having you're safe *wink*

  • Dan Foley
    July 8, 2009 Reply

    so do they make sure that you just have girls only?

  • Morgan Moore
    July 8, 2009 Reply

    I knew we'd find a way to make them obsolete…

  • Tara Weatherburn
    July 8, 2009 Reply

    Its all getting a bit weird for me… at least newcastle might be famous for something other than drinking lol

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.