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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sure, But Who Will Take Out The Garbage?

Lab-made sperm could make men redundant...

Sperm can be made in lab
Sperm can be made in lab

Women who say they don't need a man may well be right – after human sperm was created in the lab.

The breakthrough could give hope to infertile couples and men left unable to have children after having cancer treatment.

But don't worry guys, the scientists who created the sperm using stem cells don't plan to take you out of the baby-making process just yet.

'While we can understand some people may have concerns, this does not mean that humans can be produced in a dish and we have no intention of doing this,' said researcher Prof Karim Nayernia.

'The work is a way of investigating why some people are infertile and the reasons behind it.

'It could also allow men who are currently infertile the chance to have a child which is genetically their own but this will be many years away – at least a decade.'

While scientists at Newcastle University and the NorthEast England Stem Cell Institute insist 'fully mature, functional sperm' was produced, other experts cast doubt on their findings.

Prof Azim Surani, from Cambridge University, described the lab samples as 'a long way from being authentic sperm cells'.

And the MRC Institute of Medical Research said: 'Although they find some of the sperm cells have tails and can swim, this is not evidence of normality.'

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