Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mouse Sperm Grown in Culture, Press Overreacts

This article from the Asian Journal of Andrology reveals that a German/Israeli team of researchers has been able to grow murine testicular cells in a soft agar culture system, and differentiate them to the point where they appear like morphologically normal spermatozoa. That is: they can take pre-sperm cells from mouse testes and grow them until they look like real, functional sperm cells. This is amazing news, but not as amazing as some journalists have made it seem. The Daily Mirror and the Telegraph said this could lead to in-lab production of human sperm "soon." Well, okay--depending on what you mean by "soon." JotZoom went with the present tense: "The latest news reports reveal more details about sperm grown in laboratory as a real scientific breakthrough. Infertile men are no longer deprived of the unique experience of becoming the father of a child using their own sperms." And the Times of India headlined the story, "Way to beat male infertility found." CBS used the Telegraph's reporting to do a more careful story, here. NHS splashes some appropriate cold water here.

1 comment:

  1. You helped me get to the bottom of this somewhat sensationalized headline. Thank you for including everything I needed to get to the truth of this study right here on this blog :)