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Biotech Science

Mouse Sperm Cells Grown In Vitro 121

smitty777 writes "In what is being hailed as a breakthrough in male infertility, researchers from Muenster and Ben Gurion Universities were able to actually grow mouse sperm cells in a petri dish. Researchers feel this is just a short step away from human in vitro sperm cell production. The details of how this will be accomplished are still being worked out. FTA: '[According to Professor Richard Sharpe], "What this research shows is that it will be possible to make human sperm outside the body. The germ cells just need the right environment. That's the tricky part getting them to think they are in the testes." Professor Sharpe believes that one novel way may make.it possible. He proposes using a live mouse as a "host" to make human sperm. He said: "What you would do is take some human testicular tissue with germ cells and place that under the skin of the mouse and use it to incubate the cells. You could then extract any sperm and use it in fertility treatment. But we would have to demonstrate that there were no mouse cells present in the extracted sperm if we were to use this technique and I believe that's possible."'"
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Mouse Sperm Cells Grown In Vitro

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    All men will become obsolete, and militant feminists will rule the world!

    • by EzInKy ( 115248 )

      With women having all the essentials to reproduce and rear offspring and men having but one that may very well be the ultimate destiny of the human race.

      • Doubly so since their offspring could only ever be female.
      • Of course, tradition will prevent this from happening for many years to come. I can only imagine the conversations a lot of Chinese families will be having a decade or two from now:

        "Sorry, son. We chose to give you a significantly shorter lifespan, an inferior immune system, poorer social skills, and the inability to have one of life's most powerful experiences. Also, since tons of other families did the same thing, there's a big gender gap today and you'll be lucky to find someone to fall in love with.

        • Women are great. I have no problem with women. But for goodness sake, I've had enough of this ridiculous female chauvinism that dominates our society today.

          Men are awesome. Even in this world where all the rules have been skewed in favor of women (women get better grades and graduate high school, attend college, and get degrees at higher rates than men) men are still disproportionately represented at the highest levels in most challenging creative endeavors. Look around you. See all that stuff (electronics

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by Azuaron ( 1480137 )

      You read the part where they still need germ cells from the testes, right?

      Or do you not know what testes are? Did someone never have The Talk with you?

      • The genes for it are there... so if they can grow what they need for this process...

        Yikes. Scary thought.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 05, 2012 @06:54PM (#38604310)

      and militant feminists will rule the world!

      At that point I request death by Snu Snu.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Not really. Male researchers will simply develop artificial wombs and keep farm-bred females available for source material. This will also keep the cost of courting females way down. That might hurt the economy though, as bar and restaurant association members might object. And what about the fashion industry. We will always need men, because we will always need someone to open the door! The battle of the sexes will never end! Long live sexual in-fighting, and occasional cooperation - under and over the
      • by EzInKy ( 115248 )

        Since women have wombs naturally the path of least resistance leads to a female dominated society, and since women love baubles the economy will naturally improve. As for door opening, I take it you've never been to a lesbian bar. Men are superflous.

        • So, err, that whole 'growing sperm cells in a lab' thing comes naturally too, then?

          • by EzInKy ( 115248 )

            A leads to B leads to C. Women's motivation to get rid of men is a lot higher than men's motivation to get rid of women.

            • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

              that's because women don't instinctively realize just how harsh life can be.

              • by Macgrrl ( 762836 ) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @09:16PM (#38605516)

                I'm pretty sure most women (when taken over the entire period of history) have been well arware of how harsh life could be, you know being sold as chattels to older men, dying in childbirth, carrying water from wells, watching their children die from disease, infection or starvation, washing clothes with rocks in stream, milling wheat to flour by hand from grain, etc...

                Women may not have been sent out to fight in wars as a general rule, but for those living in warzones thay experienced it every bit as much as men did.

                Things got cushy for women in the first world about the same time they got cushy for men.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by epyT-R ( 613989 )

                  I didn't mean to imply life was a wonderful paradise for them or that they didn't sacrifice, just that men have done a large part of the interface work with reality required to maintain a civilization...most of (but not all) the big picture stuff. yes women bore and raised the offspring (which is critical obviously), prepared food, and handled part of the home maintenance, but right along side that were the men defending their existence, building the homes, hunting/working for the food that was prepared, s

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by epyT-R ( 613989 )

          yeah except when it's time to do the dirty work/heavy lifting.. then it's ''omg I need a man'. of course, when it's NOT time to do the dirty work, we're all 'equals'.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 05, 2012 @07:30PM (#38604690)

        I thought men were kept around to kill spiders.

        • by Macgrrl ( 762836 )

          My husband is far more arachnaphobic than I am. I'm usually the one who has to remove spiders from our house.

    • by Anonymous Coward


    • And when artifical wombs are developed we won't need women either. Since humanity is composed of men and women (or some superposition of the two states) humanity itself will become obsolete and we wont need humans any more! How's that for eliminating extraneous terms!
    • If all your woman wants from you is your sperm, you're doing it wrong.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If all your woman wants from you is your sperm, you're doing it right.

        - fixed that for you

      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        Everything else she can get from other means...well I guess everything now.

    • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

      you laugh but the current political climate might actually go for it at some point. here in the USA the federal government is little more than a conglomerate of powerful economic and social lobbies, among them womens' groups and business owners who want docile, obedient self regulated conformists as employees, men and women both.

    • by Ofloo ( 1378781 )
      I don't know I don't mind getting a pork or ape heart, .. or whatever, yet I wouldn't want my kids grown from mouse cells. Also, they still need tissue from human males, .. which means to me that the sperm cells that are breath, will still contain that persons DNA, I mean wtf is the advantage that they wouldn't need someone jerking off anymore, but that's about it. Aside from that I don't really see any advantages, .. they still need a man to extract the tissue from. And it's going to cost, .. more to breat
      • by Ofloo ( 1378781 )
        Don't get me wrong it's really cool that they are able to do this, but that's just about it, .. It would cost more to grow sperm cells then paying someone to jerk off ! And they still need testicle tissue to grow it, ... so eventually they still need to pay someone in order to get that tissue, ... and then they need to pay for growing the sperm. Some people have issues with donating sperm, but how many of you want to get their testicles pierced in order to give a sample? And DNA doesn't fall from the sky so
  • by Anonymous Coward

    news at 11

  • by Oxford_Comma_Lover ( 1679530 ) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @06:44PM (#38604196)

    I can see them charging more based on what animal is used. "What? They're growing sperm in mice? We will grow your sperm in Lion testicles for the low price of $50,000."

    • Do not want (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 05, 2012 @06:50PM (#38604274)

      Overpopulation is currently a bigger concern.

      The last thing we need is more fertile males running around.

      Give us abundant cheap energy and food replication!

      Oh, and practical interstellar travel.

      • The last thing we need is more fertile males running around.

        The kind of people who would be able to afford this type of treatment (or any fertility treatment) tend to not have very many children anyways.

      • Oh, and practical interstellar travel.

        Get that last part down, and you solve all the rest as listed, because you'll have more living space and potential resources than you'll know what to do with.

      • Give us abundant cheap energy and food replication!

        I don't particularly fancy it, but that second part could be addressed with the current subject...

      • Interstellar travel be damned, they promised me a flying car way before that!
      • Overpopulation is currently a bigger concern.

        Which is why the lion idea has legs. Just dress the prospective father in a gazelle suit, and point him in the direction of dave the lion. I imagine it would prove to be an extremely effective contraceptive.

  • Are you.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Master Moose ( 1243274 ) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @06:59PM (#38604368) Homepage

    A man or a mouse?

  • by Capt.DrumkenBum ( 1173011 ) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @07:00PM (#38604386)
    More research into expanding the food supply might be a better use of resources. Realistically doesn't this just make it more likely for people with defective genes to reproduce?
  • by BarryHaworth ( 536145 ) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @07:01PM (#38604400) Homepage
    Now we know where Stuart Little [wikipedia.org] came from.

    Or perhaps why Mrs Little was so keen to adopt him.

  • by Master Moose ( 1243274 ) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @07:04PM (#38604434) Homepage

    So now they propose using mice as some sort of external testicles. (furry flesh bags used for containing and growing sperm). Small and portable enough to carry in a pocket, purse or such?

    People used to tell me that my wife carried my balls in her handbag - this brings it closer to relaity.

  • I think I prefer making my own sperm and children the old fashioned way, thanks.
  • by Hoi Polloi ( 522990 ) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @07:07PM (#38604470) Journal

    I'm pretty sure you can get plenty of sperm for free from millions of sources. Many of them will pay you to take it.

  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Thursday January 05, 2012 @07:28PM (#38604678) Homepage Journal

    women don't have to put up with us anymore.

  • So when do I get my genetically engineered mouse man slaves? I'm sure it'll be cheaper than hiring indians.
  • It sounds like Mickey Mouse science or maybe just mad science. Copyism?
    And I wonder how far they will grow these new cells and if they will try to produce embryos from them.
    It would definitely bring a new meaning to the question "are you man or mouse?"

  • I, for one, welcome our new mouse overlords.
  • Murine viruses (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cpricejones ( 950353 ) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @11:28PM (#38606276)
    I think one worry from this type of technique would be the inclusion of murine virion DNA. For example, the likely source of XMRV was due to infection of human cells passaged through mice (that's my understanding of the cause). No one wants to accidentally create a new retrovirus ...
    • Actually, according to the article, the sperm cells are grown in sterile jelly. There would be zero contact between human and non-human cells. The researchers used mouse models to test the process. They grew mouse sperm from mouse germ cells. In the future they would like to grow human sperm from human germ cells.
  • So could they manufacture sperm from women? Imagine the possibilities!

    • I'm wondering the same thing, can a female stem cell be convinced it is teste germ cell, then using this process make a creature that has two moms?

  • by morgauxo ( 974071 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @10:40AM (#38609344)
    So then there will be no selection pressure for fertility anymore.... The author says male infertility is on the rise now, just wait until this has been a common practice for about 10 generations or so. I think modern medicine is great and wouldn't trade it for the world but it's going to really trash our evolution. If this trend continues genetically engineered humans aren't going to be a controversial choice they are going to be a necessity. We will need to fix all the bad genes that are no longer selected against.

The next person to mention spaghetti stacks to me is going to have his head knocked off. -- Bill Conrad