Scientists have made primitive forms of artificial sperm and eggs in a medical feat that could transform the understanding of age-related diseases and fertility problems. Researchers in Cambridge made the early-stage sex cells by culturing human embryonic stem cells under carefully-controlled conditions for a week. They followed the success by showing that the same procedure can convert adult skin tissue into precursors for sperm and eggs, raising the prospect of making sex cells that are genetically matched to patients. The cells should have the potential to grow into mature sperm and eggs, though this has never been done in the lab before. The next step for the researchers will be to inject the cells into mouse ovaries or testes to see if they fully develop in the animals. British law prohibits fertility clinics in the UK from using artificial sperm and eggs to treat infertile couples.
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Intrauterine insemination (IUI) - Mayo Clinic
Scientists have come a step closer to mimicking the natural process by which the body creates sperm from stem cells in work that could ultimately provide new treatments for infertility. The team is thought to be the first to have reached the halfway point on the developmental path from human stem cells to immature sperm. The study hints that one day it may be possible to manufacture sperm and eggs from stem cells or even adult skin cells. Previously, scientists have used stem cells to create viable mouse sperm , that were then used to produce healthy pups. Other teams have also injected immature human germ cells into the testicles of mice to produce cells that superficially looked like sperm, but which did not have the ability to fertilise eggs.
Scientists create artificial human eggs and sperm
The sperm is introduced into the uterus of a mammal or the oviduct of an oviparous egg-laying animal. In mammals, insemination normally occurs during sexual intercourse or copulation, but insemination can take place in other ways, such as by artificial insemination. In humans, the act and form of insemination has legal, moral and interpersonal implications. However, whether insemination takes place naturally or by artificial means, the pregnancy and the progress of it will be the same.
Peter Horvath. By Jacqueline Mroz. Seventeen years ago, when she was in her thirties, Cindy and her female partner decided they wanted to have children. The couple spent hours poring over sperm donor profiles, finally settling on an anonymous man with a clean medical record and few health issues in his family. He was an anonymous donor, and they knew him only by his identifying number.