Note to self: never Google anything involving the worm “sperm” before activating SafeSearch ever again. Especially if you’re including “Japanese.”
Anyway, yes, the Japanese have turned stem cells into sperm. The research team at Kyoto University not only got the cells to become sperm, they actually used their sperm to knock up a mouse. Wait, that came out wrong. The sperm they created was viable. There! Much better, less nightmare fuel.
The mice from the stem-cell sperm did not come out wrong: the mice pups are perfectly normal and healthy, greatly disappointing the entire Bible Belt. What’s the implication, here? First of all, when the work is translated to people, which is still a long way off, male infertility will essentially cease to exist, no matter what the complication. Secondly, it means that Maury Povich might have to upgrade his paternity tests once this technology gets out. “You are biologically the father, but the mother stole some of your stem cells, somehow, and made your sperm, so you’re not legally obligated to do anything” isn’t much of a catchphrase, though.
[ via the reproduction fans at 80Beats ]