Spanish scientists have successfully generated sperm cells with the help of Cocktail of Genes which is a step towards solving infertility.
Infertility is a major issue that affects one out of every seven couples around the world. In the old days, infertility has been considered as a female issue but over the previous decades it has been found that men could also be responsible for this problem due to low sperm count or ineffective sperm.
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The solutions like IVF and donor babies have been a solution and a saving grace for many hopeful couples but scientists have been looking for a more permanent solution.
The Valencian Institute of Fertility followed in the footsteps of the Nanjing Medical University team which succeeded in generating sperm cells in mice that could fertilize embryos.
The Valencian scientists collaborated with team in Stanford University and together they followed a protocol which involved introducing a gene cocktail to the skin cells which are necessary for the generation of gametes.
The work of the team is inspired by Japan's Shinya Yamanaka and Britain's John Gordon who in 2012 shared a Nobel Prize for the discovery that adult cells can be transformed back into embryo-like stem cells, according to DailyMail.
After the introduction of the genes, they waited for a whole month in which the skin cells incorporated with the genes and transformed to a germ cell.
Upon testing, they found out that the transformed skin cell was unable to fertilize an egg. Team lead by scientist Simon commented that the transformed cell was a sperm and required maturation phase to become a gamete which will then lead to heterozygote fertilization.
The process of production of sperms is a very lengthy and tiring process, admitted Simon and they also have to take care of the legal issues that are associated with sperm production and collection as their work involves making and storing sperm whether they work or not. They are still hopeful that the experiments and procedures will work and give them a positive result.
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The experiment result was published Tuesday in Scientific Reports, the online journal of Nature.