London British scientists claimed Wednesday to have created human sperm from embryonic stem cells for the first time, an accomplishment they say may someday help infertile men father children.
The technique could in 10 years allow researchers to use the basic knowledge of how sperm develop to design treatments to give infertile men the chance to have biological children, said lead researcher Karim Nayernia, of Newcastle University, whose team earlier produced baby mice from sperm derived in a similar way.
The research, published in the journal Stem Cells and Development, was conducted by scientists at Newcastle and the NorthEast England Stem Cell Institute.
Stem cells can become any cell in the body, and scientists have previously turned them into a variety of new entities, including cells from the brain, pancreas, heart and blood vessels.
Some experts challenged the research, saying they weren’t convinced Nayernia and his colleagues had actually produced sperm cells. Several critics also said the sperm cells they created were clearly abnormal.