According to a study published, there is an exciting research result in the field of reproductive medicine in China. Chinese scientists have used laboratory grown sperm to father baby mice for the first time.
Despite the popular belief, the creation of sperm is one of the longest and most complex processes in the body. From the start to the end result, it can take over a month in many mammals naturally. The number of chromosomes in the sperm cells is half of a normal somatic cell.
The primitive sperms were created from embryonic stem cells. The sperms were created by adding chemicals, hormones and testicular tissue to these stem cells. Multiple gene snipping and splicing enzymes were used. In the laboratory, each sperm took almost 10 weeks to make. The scientists also had to replicate meiosis, a form of cell division where sperm shed half their chromosomes.
These artificially sperms lacked the tail though. These sperms were then used to fertilize an egg to form an embryo in the laboratory (in vitro fertilization). The resulting baby mice were all healthy and grew up to be fertile themselves.
Research like this could lead to major breakthroughs in infertility treatments for years to come. These artificial sperms will also give a better understanding of various genetic disorders as well. As the scientists will be able to identify the genetically engineered part of the born baby mice and study its effects and correlations with various disease manifestations.