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New Infertile Findings

​the laboratory capable of producing sperm. Using stem cells and tissue from the male donor, Turek believes it is possible to fashion an artificial testicle that can be used for successful conception. The biological machine being created is expected to provide more specific information on how the reproductive system works and the causes of infertility.

Treatments for male infertility have traditionally been limited to collecting sperm from those who don't produce enough at one go, using medications to boost low counts and bringing in sperm from a fertile male. With high infertility rates across the nation and men responsible for roughly half of them, according to the Mayo Clinic, this technology is very much in demand.

It could be a few years more in the making, however, as there are significant hurdles to cross before sperm can be grown in the lab. The process is a delicate one, and much remains to be learned about exactly how the testicles work. The first goal of the team is to start the process and learn more about the biochemical underpinnings of sperm production. This research in itself may provide more advanced infertility treatments, as well as a better understanding of other male reproductive problems.

Turek is confident that it is possible though, and the three-dimensional design being created may even make it possible for the creation of living testicular tissue. The tissues could be grown in a mold and implanted into those who have lost their testicles due to accidents, cancer surgery and other causes. If this can be accomplished, it may lead to more success in treating female infertility as well, even so far as creating eggs for infertile women.

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