As if there aren’t enough sperm swimming around in search of a comfy home, the BBC reports that scientists in Newcastle have come up with a way to create human sperm in a laboratory. The sperm is developed from stem cell lines taken from leftover human embryos donated for IVF treatment. Go here for the story AND a nifty video showing how it’s done.
The idealistic researchers promise that the little swimmers will be used only to help scientists “understand sperm” in order to help infertile men. Lab sperm will not be available for injection by the childless and desperate all-about-me’s who don’t give a lab rat’s ass about the consequences of creating genetic orphans.
The sperm cannot be used for fertility treatment as this is prohibited under UK law. The scientists in Newcastle say it will be at least five years before the technique is perfected – when they believe it should be available to help infertile men.
Just wait for 2014!
BONUS VIDEO: “What Happens During Ejaculation” from Woody Allen’s Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex and Were Afraid to Ask.
Totally fab to let us know what is going on in the world of spermology. Maybe you can figure out where the uh, genetic material came from that created Mjackson’s two oldest children?
And did you ever see the movie, Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life? Many dancing sperms, none to be wasted… It’s a stitch…
You bring up a question. Will every sperm be sacred when it’s created in a petri dish and not by God’s personal hand?
Hmm….so children created from artificial sperm can honestly say they do not have a father!! Their “biological father”/sperm donor/stem-cell turned sperm was never born!!!
This sounds like something the lesbians would love…..no father to potentially get in their way!! And any couple that wants to avoid known/ID-release donors (in countries where anonymity has been banned).
Really makes me ill for the children of the future….
Heh heh thanks for this Marley, I hadnt seen this before – Not a fan of Woodys but I must be changing as I grow older Because I laughed all the way through..
I prefer the old fashioned form, particularly after reading that practice makes perfect:
It’s really a crazy idea when you consider the implications.
You could have entire “generations” fashioned and discarded in petri dishes, combining and recombining to make fertilized eggs, embryos, stem cells, then eggs or sperm.
One could, in the space of a few months probably, create a human being who was ten generations or more removed from any human who has ever lived.
You could cultivate a ‘population’ of cell lines by breeding cells together randomly, then doing the same over subsequent generations, and essentially simulate a human population which has been genetically isolated for centuries. With enough time and enough genetic drift, you could perhaps even create entirely new ethnicities.
There is a trick, which is that you would have to make sure that all cell populations can still produce viable adults. I suppose that, every so often, you’d need to permit a fertilized egg to develop into an fetus and be born, to serve as what we in engineering call a “sanity check”. (That description seems distinctly inappropriate here.)
This idea makes the social-engineering freakishness of adoption seem banal by comparison. Except, of course, that all the above I’ve described above is so far only plausible conjecture, whereas adoption has already happened.