POSTED: Wednesday, July 8, 2009 - 12:12pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:24pm
British scientist claim to create human sperm from stem cells...
British scientists say they have created human sperm in the lab using stem cells, in what they say is a world first.
Scientists at the University of Newcastle say they used stem cells from human embryos to create the sperm cells.
They hope someday to produce sperm using just a flake of human skin.
The scientist and his team say they are not trying to create human life in a test tube, but instead hope to solve male fertility problems.
"If the system is safe and validated, those sperm could help infertile men to have their own children," said Newcastle University professor Karim Nayernia.
Some scientists have expressed doubt at the announcement. Others express a concern with the ethics of the research.
The scientists say they are about eight to ten years away from experimenting with humans.
Experiments with mice have not gone well, baby mice born from the artificial sperm either died or were born severely deformed.