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Thread: Scientists Grow Sperm in Laboratory

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    Scientists Grow Sperm in Laboratory

    Will we eventually see designer Übermensch?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/he...tory-dish.html

    Scientists grow sperm in laboratory dish
    Scientists have made a major breakthrough that could soon see human sperm grown in the laboratory.

    Sperm being prepared for IVF treatment Photo: Eddie Mulholland
    6:53PM GMT 02 Jan 201285 Comments
    The development opens up the possibility of infertile men being able to father their own children rather than using donor sperm.
    Researchers in Germany and Israel were able to grow mouse sperm from a few cells in a laboratory dish.
    In a world first a team headed by Professor Stefan Schlatt, at Muenster University in Germany, were able to grow sperm by using germ cells. These are the cells in testicles that are responsible for sperm production.
    Scientists grew the sperm by surrounding the germ cells in a special compound called agar jelly to create an environment similar to that found in testicles.
    Prof. Mahmoud Huleihel, who also grew the sperm at Israel's Ben Gurion University in Beersheba, said: "I believe it will eventually be possible to routinely grow human male sperm to order by extracting tissue containing germ cells from a man's testicle and stimulating sperm production in the laboratory."

    The findings of the sperm trial have been revealed in a major scientific journal published by Nature.
    Now the scientists who made the discovery have begun experiments that will hopefully lead to the 'Holy Grail' - human sperm grown outside a man's body.
    Stephen Gordon, a leading NHS male infertility consultant, praised the breakthrough.
    He said:"This is an amazing development that could revolutionise fertility treatment and allow every man to be a natural father.
    "Infertile men naturally want to be the father of their child but at present have to accept that can't happen. With the mouse discovery, that could now be a possibility."
    Professor Richard Sharpe, one of the UK's top fertility scientists, based at Edinburgh University, who hopes to work on the project, said: "This is a significant step forward towards making human sperm."
    The problem of male infertility has grown over the last 50 years and has been matched by huge decrease in sperm counts in men. Some of this has been attributed to environmental factors such as pollution and female hormones appearing in plastic packaging.
    Mr Gordon, a urologist, who practises at Epsom Hopsital, Surrey, said: "Even with our latest microsurgical techniques there are still thousands of men - who are otherwise healthy -who can't naturally father babies and rely on sperm donation."
    Professor Huleihel said his team were now working 'as quickly as possible' to reproduce their success in mice to help infertile men.
    "We have already applied the same tests as we did with mice in the laboratory, using human cells, but as yet have not had success. We are confident that if it can be done in a mammal such as a mouse it can be done in humans.
    "We are experimenting with a number of different compounds to get the germ cells to grow into sperm. And we believe it will be possible. And, hopefully, soon."
    The sperm production breakthrough is reported in the Asian Journal of Andrology this month.
    Professor Huleihel added: "We were able to produce viable sperm that could have been used to create baby mice. The sperm appeared healthy and were not genetically damaged.
    "It has taken us several years to reach this stage so a technique to create human sperm won't come overnight but we have started that research already after our success with mice."
    In an attempt to speed up the search for a way of making human sperm Professor Huleihel's team is about to start talks with Professor Richard Sharpe at Edinburgh University.
    Professor Sharpe said: "What this research shows is that it will be possible to make human sperm outside the body. The germ cells just need the right environment. That's the tricky part getting them to think they are in the testes
    Professor Sharpe believes that one novel way may make.it possible. He proposes using a live mouse as a 'host' to make human sperm.
    He said: "What you would do is take some human testicular tissue with germ cells and place that under the skin of the mouse and use it to incubate the cells.
    "You could then extract any sperm and use it in fertility treatment. But we would have to demonstrate that there were no mouse cells present in the extracted sperm if we were to use this technique and I believe that's possible."
    Mr Gordon, who also treats infertile men at the private New Life Clinic, said: "Hundreds of millions have been poured into research into female infertility but research into male infertility attracts relatively little interest.
    "There will be a lot of infertile men hoping this research succeeds and that in future they won't have to rely on a sperm donor to have child."
    Before human sperm grown in a laboratory could be used in fertility treatment it would have to be licensed.
    But researchers like Professor Sharpe believes that this hurdle will be overcome.
    He said: "The main thing that would have to be proved is that the sperm was not genetically damaged and was the same as sperm produced in the testes. Similar checks are already carried out on eggs and embryos used in women's fertility treatment."
    Last edited by renownedwolf; Friday, January 6th, 2012 at 02:33 PM. Reason: forgot link

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    Professor Sharpe believes that one novel way may make.it possible. He proposes using a live mouse as a 'host' to make human sperm.

    "Well, your child could exhibit some strange behaviours around cats, but other than that it will be perfectly fine."

    But yes, these technologies will be used to bring us the children we want just as they today are used to screen out the ones we do not want. This will speed up evolution. In many cases the genetic ills that plague us today are genetic adaptations to problems and environments that are no longer current. Take myopia as an example: since we perfected the art of grinding glass lenses there has been no real need for myopics (myopics have superior sight at close ranges and can perform detailed work that others need lenses for) but the genes are still there. Same with obesity, with a steady and adequate supply of food there is not need to be able to bind calories that well.

    It is my firm belief that this technology will pull humanity apart once and for all. Those individuals and societies that can manage this new technology will use it to improve and change themselves to an point at which they will transform into separate species. Those who do not will remain what they are.

    So one day our descendants or even possibly we ourselves might more resemble what you see in films like Predator than what you see in the mirror today.

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    Am i the only one who thinks that this is just wrong and will destroy our genes as well as us entirely in the end?

    I think our progression,mixed with our stupidity will be our downfall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dead Eye View Post
    Am i the only one who thinks that this is just wrong and will destroy our genes as well as us entirely in the end?

    I think our progression,mixed with our stupidity will be our downfall.
    I am divided, Dead Eye.

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    What worries me is that alot of this research is coming out of Israel as well, what next 'Jewbermensch'? (See what I did there! )

    I'm fine with us having the tech to do certain things, but it's a slippery slope I believe when it is in the hands of those who shouldn't have it. It could be used for nefarious purposes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by renownedwolf View Post
    What worries me is that alot of this research is coming out of Israel as well, what next 'Jewbermensch'? (See what I did there! )

    I'm fine with us having the tech to do certain things, but it's a slippery slope I believe when it is in the hands of those who shouldn't have it. It could be used for nefarious purposes.
    Technology is technology. We don't reject nuclear power or weapons just because so many Jews contributed to their creation. Non-proliferation treaties and sanctions and the like might slow down the spread of a technology; but, eventually, once the stuff is out of the bag it will get around.

    Therefore I firmly believe that our future, if we are to have one, lies in this stuff. This stuff will make possible eugenics at the speed of light, directed evolution without any breaks. Add to that interfacing biology with mechatronics and we are looking at the wildest of science fiction coming true in our own lifetimes. I'm telling you, talking about this stuff now is like talking about computers and IT in the 1930s. Back then, a reasonably accurate depiction of reality today would probably have qualified you as crazy.

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    Creating Sperm from the DNA of an infertile man could possibly be a great breakthrough. However safeguards would have to be put in place to make sure there is not a large rise in any genetic causes of infertility. It would also stop sterilisation being a failsafe way to stop people reproducing... which may be a bad thing.

    In the case of genetically engineering humans I am definitely a Luddite though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dead Eye View Post
    Am i the only one who thinks that this is just wrong and will destroy our genes as well as us entirely in the end?

    I think our progression,mixed with our stupidity will be our downfall.
    The majority of men will not need this assistance & will father children the old fashion way. The new technologies tend to help those who are more intelligent anyway because of the cost & the fact that the creation of another life is premeditated. The kind of people we want to breed.

    How many people here remember Louise Brown & the ethical discussions surrounding her birth? This was a major event back in 1978. 30 years later in-vitro babies are much more common, I even have a cousin who has 2 grandchildren created in a petri dish, it is certainly preferable to adopting a non-White child or not having children at all.

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    Neophyte, what I was trying to get at is that even though the technology may be beneficial when just taken as technology regardless of who had a hand in it's creation, but the potential for it to be abused by those I and many others consider our foe is very great, especially when they are holding the reins of the release of said information and will undoubtedly have a hand in it's application. They control a large swathe of other outlook changing forms of media right now, schooling, TV etc contributing to possibly skewed and implanted views of what it indeed constitutes to be 'one of us'.

    All to easy for our genes to be mutated to either be vulnerable to certain diseases or viruses which our foes themselves will be immune to. The breeding out of certain traits which we hold dear now that would be considered undesirable then. It is bad enough now that half breeds are portrayed as fantastic examples of humanity for our youth to aspire to. I believe we are fighting to maintain a certain amount of 'status quo' within the confines of our race.

    Whilst I also believe that the proliferation of said technologies may be inevitable, I agree with Sehnsucht that we must have plans in place to stop it's abuse by both our own people and our enemies. This obviously would require a much more in depth discussion, and I will also admit that my knowledge about bio-mechanical engineering is limited at best, but I am sure we have more knowledgeable members who know more about this subject.

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