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Injecting Mice With Artificial Sperm Helps Them Have Babies (VIDEO)

First Posted: Feb 25, 2016 04:58 PM EST

Researchers in China have discovered how to use mouse stem cells to grow mouse sperm in laboratory settings. The new findings are published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

During the study, they used embryonic mouse stem cells and turned them into spermlike cells that were injected into nearly 400 egg cells that would be used to create embryos, according to The Washington Post. From there, these embryos developed normally in female mice--producing healthy and fertile offspring, according to Health Day.

"Reproducing germ cell [reproductive cells] development in vitro has remained a central goal in both reproductive biology and reproductive medicine," co-senior author Jiahao Sha, from Nanjing Medical University, said in a news release.

A major cause of male infertility is the failure of precursor cells in the testes to properly undergo a special type of cell division known as meiosis, according to The Mirror. Furthermore, infertility is estimated to affect about 15 percent of couples--of which a third of cases can be traced to problems with male reproductive issues.

"If proven to be safe and effective in humans, our platform could potentially generate fully functional sperm for artificial insemination or in-vitro fertilisation techniques," Sha added. "Because currently available treatments do not work for many couples, we hope that our approach could substantially improve success rates for male infertility."

Want to learn more? Check out this video, courtesy of ExpressNews.

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