(CBS) This week, British researchers announced another extraordinary breakthrough in medical research. They have taken stem cells from an embryo and created human sperm.
It’s very exciting, said the man who led the team. They have heads, they have tails, and they move. They have all the essential qualities for creating life. The aim, we are told, is to revolutionize the treatment of infertility.
But this discovery has created some interesting dilemmas. Sperm could be produced from female stem cells. That would mean women would no longer need men to create babies. It could also be theoretically used to produce
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Italy’s Constitutional Court relaxed parts of a law on artificial procreation that had imposed strict rules for fertility treatments.
The judges struck down as unconstitutional one of the most contested sections of the 2004 law, which said only three embryos could be created at one time, and all had to be implanted in the patient’s womb, a court spokesman said.
The judges also introduced stronger wording to ensure that embryos are implanted only if it doesn’t endanger the woman’s health, said spokesman Giovanni Gattarino.
The issue had been put before the constitutional judges by lower administrative and civil
A Montana State University researcher and her co-researchers are receiving international attention for showing that skin cells from infertile men can be used to create the precursors of sperm – research that holds promise for treating male infertility (…)
The team took skin cells from men who suffer from a genetic disorder, known as azoospermia, which prevents them from producing sperm. Those skin cells were then turned into stem cells, specifically, induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPSC. Like other stem cells, iPSC have the ability to become any other type of cell.
The team then implanted the stem cells into the
Researchers believe that they can produce new eggs in infertile women even if the ovaries are damaged or the woman has passed the usual age of conception.
The technique involves transplanting stem cells into the ovaries and could work on the one in 10 women who suffer from infertility as well as those who want children late in life.
Until recently it was assumed that a woman was born with a finite lifetime store of around two million egg-producing follicles and no more could be produced.
By puberty this number has already fallen to about 400,000, and at the menopause too few