Japanese researchers have succeeded in creating sperm from mice tissue samples. Takehiko Ogawa then used the sperm to fertilize eggs using IVF techniques, which produced 12 pups who went on to have mice families of their own.
The research promises to open up the possibility of fatherhood for infertile men. In particular, when pre-pubescent men are treated for cancer (radiation or chemotherapy), they often lose the ability to have children when they grow up. Older men don't suffer this problem because they can freeze their sperm for later use.
Dr. Ogawa stresses that his research is still in its early stages:
"[He] cautioned that the research is still at an early stage – and while it is clear the baby mice produced from the test-tube sperm were fertile, it is unclear if they were healthy in other ways."