Scientists create test-tube sperm

FIRST it was test-tube babies, now it’s test-tube sperm. 

Researchers in Singapore are the first to grow mature sperm in the laboratory, in landmark work that could one day be used to treat infertility in men. 

The breakthrough may also shed light on the basic processes of human reproduction, which are very hard to study within the body. 

It may also be used in agriculture to allow males with desired traits to have their sperm produced in bulk for insemination, or to introduce new traits via the sperm to future generations of offspring. 

Although the sperm-growing feat is now restricted to fish, the Singapore team that achieved it is working to succeed with mammals too. 

Associate Professor Hong Yunhan, who led the work by a National University of Singapore team, said: “Because of the similarities between fish and mammals, the findings point to the ability to replicate the work in mammals, and obtain sperm under these conditions to treat male infertility.” 

Their work – funded with close to S$3mil (RM6.6mil) in grants from the Lee Hiok Kwee Foundation, Biomedical Research Council and NUS – has been published in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the United States National Academy of Sciences. 

The next step will be to try to duplicate the work on mammals such as mice, said Prof Hong. 

Putting aside ethical considerations, the technical complexities of the process alone mean that this feat is not possible in humans – yet. 

“I am a man, and I don’t want to imply that men are useless,” joked Prof Hong. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network 

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: -1
Cxense type: NA
User access status: 3

Next In Regional

Malaysia's manufacturing PMI falls in February
Muhyiddin: King will be advised to dissolve Parliament once Covid-19 pandemic ends
Covid-19: Johor govt to propose allowing those vaccinated to travel to S'pore
Covid-19: Cases up by 2,437 bringing total to 300,752 (updated daily)
Arrival of 'sticky bombs' in Indian Kashmir sets off alarm bells
Health Ministry: 2,437 new cases for 300,752 total, nine new deaths
Kitingan: About 3,000 pigs to be culled in Pitas, Sabah to prevent spread of ASF
‘Tan Sri’, ‘Datuk’ drug lords hiding behind legitimate businesses, says Bukit Aman
Late HK actor Ng Man-tat's five most memorable roles
At least 18 killed in Myanmar on bloodiest day of protests against coup

Stories You'll Enjoy