Michelle has multiple sclerosis and spends her time in a wheelchair. But she’s going on a trek in the Lake District for the first time in more than 10 years.
Male mice with genetic infertility were able to have healthy offspring after the development of a new technique to create artificial sperm. The aim is to adopt this new method for humans, but there are some hurdles yet to overcome.
As the majority of us probably know, our sex is determined by which sex chromosomes we possess, with women having XX and men having XY. Unfortunately, the division of cells is not a perfect art, and some males are born instead with either an additional X chromosome making them XXY or an additional Y chromosome making them XYY.
It is thought that around 1 in 500 males are born with Klinefelter syndrome (XXY), while roughly 1 in 1, 500 are born with double Y, or Jacob’s syndrome (XYY). One of the key symptoms of both these conditions is infertility, also it was in a bid to allow these genetically infertile men to have children that the researchers decided to see if they could work around it.
These people created two strains of mice, one each with either an extra X or Y chromosome. The researchers then tried to see if they could take the skin cells from the ear, and switch them into pluripotent come cells, which theory can then be encouraged to become any cell in your body, publishing their results in Science.
They found that, surprisingly, when they classy the refined fibroblast tissue extracted from the ear tissues into stem cells, around a next of them dumped the extra chromosome that was triggering infertility. These were then able to take these “cured” tissue and guide them into becoming effectively pre-sperm, before they injected them back again into the testes of host mice where they could then be uncovered to the right conditions needed to mature into fully functioning sperm.
The particular matured sperm was then able to be collected and used to fertilize eggs, with between fifty and 60 pct of pregnancies that came about resulting in live births. The researchers want to now develop the method to achieve similar results in humans, but there is a serious major stuttering block to overcome first.
“There is currently absolutely no way to make mature semen outside of the body, ” explained senior writer James Turner. “In our mouse experiments, we have to inject cells who have the potential to become sperm back in the testes to help them complete developing. But we found that this caused growths in some of the mouse recipients. ”
Actually they found that after injecting the sperm to the testes of the web host mice, between 29 and 50 pct of the subjects went on to develop tumors. This would obviously be unacceptable for use in humans, and so the researchers are now trying to physique out how to completely fully developed sperm in quality pipe.