Sunday, June 17, 2007

Bone Marrow Cells Turned Into Sperm

In a development that can change the way people choose to have babies, microbiologist Karim Nayernia has successfully turned bone marrow stem cells into sperm. This could potentially lead to babies that have no father, for the sperm cells can come from the mother's own marrow. Nayernia harvested and immersed bone marrow stem cells in chemicals and an environment that emulated the environment of the testes. It was the first time that nonreproductive human cells have been turned into gametes.

Biologist Renee Reijo Pera of the Stanford’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine says that attempts to create offspring using sperm from embryonic stem cells turned up short-lived mice that were either giants of midgets. However, Nayerna believes that if his immature marrow sperm cells are transplanted into testes, they would mature and become functional.

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