Scientists have long tried to create sperm in the lab, but it’s trickier than it sounds. While they’ve been able to cultivate tissue from just about any non-junk part of the body, they haven’t been able to get tissue grown in a lab to divide into sperm cells.
But now, researchers at Japan’s Yokohama City University have found a way to make tissue from pre-pubescent mouse testicles develop into sperm. It turns out the key was the gel they used to cultivate the cells, as sperm won’t develop with a gel covered in fetal bovine serum, a standard cell culturing ingredient. But, when gels without the serum was used, the tissue develop into viable sperm that was used to create fertile offspring, which is a polite way of saying they were able to seriously knock up some mice.
If the process can be replicated with other species’ tissue, it could help to create more genetic material of endangered species and help prepubescent boys who have to undergo cancer therapies that can render them sterile. Plus, we’re betting the bukkake industry would just love to get their already full hands on this technology.