Reproduction: Men need no longer apply
8 July 2009
Scientists have created human sperm in the laboratory for the first time, reports the Independent. The breakthrough, achieved using stem cells derived from a human embryo, raises hopes that infertile men will one day father their own biological children. And also brings up ethical questions about the future role of men. If the finding is confirmed, the London daily continues, one single male embryo could theoretically yield an unlimited supply of sperm, meaning there would be no “reproductive need for men”. One scientist behind the project points out, however, that this would happen “only if you want to produce a population all the same size and shape.” The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, which regulates research, has estimated that it will be at least five or 10 years before such sperm could be produced and used in treatment.