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Lab-Grown Sperm Leads to Healthy Mice

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The Kyoto team, led by Mitinori Saitou, used a three-step process. First they developed a very specific cocktail of three factors that were able to differentiate the stem cells into epiblast-like cells, a cell type that appears very transiently around Day 8 of embryo formation in mice. They next used a protocol they developed a couple years ago to mature those cells into primordial germ-like cells, then used molecular markers to select those cells in the culture that were most likely to have the ability to form sperm. Those cells were used for artificial insemination and resulted in the healthy births of 60 mice that were then able to produce their own offspring.

The study was published in the August 4 issue of Cell.

— Compiled from CIRM President's Science Update