Scientists Create Sperm from Human Skin to Cure Infertility
Spanish scientists utilize a revolutionary new technique to create sperm from skin in a potential cure for infertility.
Around 15% of the world’s couples experience fertility problems and are unable to have children without the donation of sperm or eggs. To help them, Spanish scientists announced an amazing medical feat. They were able to create human sperm from skin cells.
"What to do when someone who wants to have a child lacks gametes (eggs or sperm)?" asked Carlos Simon, the scientific director of the Valencian Infertility Institute. "This is the problem we want to address: to be able to create gametes in people who do not have them."
The solution devised by Simon and his colleagues was to use a cocktail of genes that reprogrammed mature skin cells. It took a month for the skin cell to be transformed into a germ cell which could become either a sperm or an egg, but couldn’t be fertilized.
"This is a sperm but it needs a further maturation phase to become a gamete. This is just the beginning," said Simon.
The work of the Spanish researchers built upon previous studies by Japanese and British scientists who won a Nobel Prize for discovering that adult cells could be transformed back into embryo-like stem cells. It also one ups Chinese researchers who earlier in 2016 created mice from artificial sperm. It’s a brave new world for sperm research.
The scientists estimate that in the USA alone, there are around 220,000 men and 290,000 women between 20-44 who lack the necessary gametes to produce children. As their paper says: “Although donation of gametes results in high pregnancy rates, there are ethical, legal and personal concerns associated with this technique. Thus, there is an increasing interest in the search for alternatives to generate autologous germ cells in vitro.”
The study was carried out with Stanford University and published in Scientific Reports, the online journal of Nature.
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
- Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.
- Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
- The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
- Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.
Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you.
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.