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08 Apr 2012 4 Comments

A giant step for mankind!

Man seems to be making giant strides in overcoming fertility issues and enabling procreation. Scientists in Japan have successfully created mice by creating sperms from embryonic stem cells. These sperms were fused with the eggs in vitrio. The fertilized eggs were implanted in female mice. Perfectly able mice that in turn could reproduce normally were born.

This is how the process took place:

  1. Scientists used a process of inducing the protein BMP4 into embryonic stem cells. This protein is known to play an active role in the creation of germ cells.
  2. Epiblast cells were produced with the help of growth factors, embryonic cells and the BMP4 protein.
  3. These early embryo cells or epiblasts were developed into primordial germ cells.
  4. The primordial cells were injected into the testes of sterile mice.

The research demonstrates that viable sperm cells could indeed be created. Allan Pacey, a male fertility expert at the University of Sheffield, says, "this is a quite a step forward in developing a process by which sperms could be made for infertile men, perhaps by taking as a starting point a cell from their skin or from something like bone marrow. Clearly more work needs to be done, but it's hugely exciting."

Sure, there is a long way to go before it could find its way into the human race. However, the whys, hows, ifs and buts, are issues that loom large.



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