Stem cell innovation study converts skin cells to sperm cells in potential infertility treatment

May 2, 2014 7:02 pm by Stephanie Baum | 0 Comments MedCity News

In the latest stem cell innovation, a group of researchers from Stanford University successfully converted skin cells to stem cells to sperm cells, raising new questions about a potential path to treat infertility. The study was published in Cell Report.

The research used skin samples from five men with a genetic mutation calledazoospermia a genetic mutation that prevented them from making mature sperm.

According to a description of the study on NPRs website, researchers took skin cells from infertile men and transformed them into pluripotent stem cells, which can be converted into any cell in the body. The cells were inserted in mice testes and became immature human sperm cells.

The research is certainly at the early stage and experts caution it will take a lot more research to develop healthy sperm but it is already drawing mixed responses from the research world. Although its been called provocative, Dartmouth bioethicist Ronald Green got particularly dark and called attention to the downside. He speculated that it could lead to thefts of tissue samples or hair from the dead to recreate the dearly departed.

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Stem cell innovation study converts skin cells to sperm cells in potential infertility treatment

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