Switching Off the Sperm Gene as a Male Contraceptive
With a new discovery in a gene vital to the success in male fertility, researchers are investigating the possibility of its function as a contraceptive.
Article written by guest writer Rin Mitchell
What’s the Latest Development?
Researchers at the Center for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh are testing a gene, which has been linked to infertility in men, to see how it could work as a contraceptive. The gene called Katnal1 is necessary in the final stages in the development of sperm. When a man doesn’t have enough of the protein residing in the Katnal1, then his sperm is unable to fully form; therefore, pregnancy cannot occur. Scientists want to flip the negative into a positive for those not looking to conceive, and develop it into a non-hormonal contraceptive for men to use as a form of birth control. However, scientists need to continue testing to ensure the effects are reversible when the desire for having kids arises.
What’s the Big Idea?
As of now, men only have condoms and vasectomy as options to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. The Katnal1 gene only affects sperm cells in the later stages, so if scientists can confirm through more testing that it will not interfere with the beginning stages of sperm production and overall ability to produce sperm—it can potentially be another form of contraceptive available to men.
Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Long hidden under trees, it's utterly massive
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Christmas has many pagan and secular traditions that early Christians incorporated into this new holiday.
- Christmas was heavily influenced by the Roman festival of Saturnalia.
- The historical Jesus was not born on December 25th as many contemporary Christians believe.
- Many staple Christmas traditions predated the festival and were tied into ancient pagan worship of the sun and related directly to the winter solstice.
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