|English: Electron microscope image of sperm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
A sperm gene discovery might lead to new alternatives of birth control for men, according to researchers from the University of Edinburgh.
Scottish researchers discovered a gene that plays a key role in sperm maturation.
Their findings suggest that if a drug could be developed to hinder this gene, Katnal1, it could serve as a contraceptive for men. | Examiner.com
Discovery of Gene May Lead to New Male Contraceptive - Yahoo! News
Researchers found that a gene called Katnal1 is critical to enable sperm to mature in the testes. Finding a way to regulate this gene could prevent sperm from maturing, making them incapable of fertilizing eggs.Sperm gene discovery may lead to male birth control, scientists say - HealthPop - CBS News
Katnal1 is needed to regulate scaffold-like structures called tubules, the study showed, which forms part of the cells that provide nutrients to developing sperm. When scientists genetically modified mice to not carry this gene, the mice were infertile. The findings are published in the May 24 issue of PLoS Genetics.Could a Fertility Gene Discovery Lead to New Male Contraception? | Healthland | TIME.com
Researchers have long sought new forms of male contraception. In January, researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine found that ultrasound waves could be used to zap sperm into oblivion. In their rat study, exposure to high-frequency ultrasound for two 15-minute sessions, two days apart, was enough to kill existing sperm in the testes and stop the development of additional sperm.