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Solving the problem of infertility by creating artificial sperm using stem cells sounds more like something out of a science-fiction novel than reality. But is this possibility really so far fetched? Japanese researchers managed to create artificial sperm in mice, using stem cells. And that is not all healthy mouse offspring were born using this "artificial" sperm!

The sperm cells were made by scientists in Japan Mitinori Saitou and Katsuhiko Hayashi from Tokyo university who first looked into the ways in which primordial germ cells, from which sperm and eggs are derived, are naturally created by the body. Then then sough to recreate that same process in a lab. When these artificially created cells were inserted into the body of male mice who were infertile, they produced normally appearing sperm. The researches also implanted these sperm into mouse eggs, an experiment that ended with the birth of healthy mice. The Cell journal, where the findings were published on the 4th of August, reported that the offspring created through this process were healthy and able to reproduce normally.

Fertility expert from the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, Dr Allan Pacey said about the new development: "This is quite a step forward in developing a process by which sperm 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 to refine this process, but it's hugely exciting." What do you think about this? Would you consider using artificial sperm to get pregnant if you or your husband were infertile? Do you think there are any ethical dilemmas connected to this development? Do you think this option will become available to humans in the near future? There is no doubt that this is very exciting. But perhaps, it's also a little scary! Also read Can artificial ovaries help cancer patients get pregnant?

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