Lab Grown Sperm May Be The Future Of Male Infertility

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Something exciting happened recently in a laboratory in France: scientists created he first “fully functioning” sperm out of scrap genetic material, which could potentially help male fertility.

The researchers, who work in a private lab, report that they plan to carry out human trials within the next two years. They added that the sperm could possibly be used to treat men with infertility. According to the New York Post, the Kallistem lab has accomplished something that many scientists have been longing to do for the last 15 years: that is, create semen out of genetic material from testicular biopsies.

“At the end of 2014 the company was able to produce fully formed human spermatozoa in the laboratory setting,” the New York Post wrote. “[They used] patient testicular biopsies containing only immature germ cells, or spermatogonia.”

Because the researchers haven’t yet published their findings (they will be submitted to a peer-review journal after June 23), others in the field have cautioned from taking the research as undisputed fact. However, some are excited to read the research and hope it can contribute to progressively treating male infertility.

“If this is true, it is a considerable step forward in treating male sterility,” Professor Israel Nisand, co-founder of the European Bioethics Forum, noted.

If the research is fact, the genetic material would take 72 days for cells to develop into fully functioning sperm. Then, the sperm could be cryopreserved until the man is ready to have children.

According to Kallistem labs, pre-clinical human trials will begin in 2016 and go on into the next year. If the trials are successful, the procedure could make its way into clinics across the country and eventually the world. The financial outlook for the procedure is also bright, since it’s expected to be worth about $2.58 billion.

Source: Inquisitir


 
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