A medical lab in the Netherlands is admitting that a “procedural error” may have caused upwards of 26 women to have their eggs fertilized with the wrong sperm.
Using skin cells extracted from mice, researchers in Japan have produced fully functional egg cells that were used to produce healthy mouse pups. Should the method work in humans, it could introduce powerful new ways of treating infertility—and even allow same-sex couples to produce biological offspring.
A popular fertility treatment introduced in the early 1990s has been linked to low sperm counts in men born from the procedure. Scientists aren’t entirely sure why this is happening, but it’s entirely possible that fathers are passing their fertility issues down to the next generation.
Childbirth is an enormous responsibility that nearly always falls on females—but a few brave males shoulder the burden too. And as a female who has vaguely contemplated the possibility of having children, I don’t envy them for a second.
Spiders are notorious for their bizarre and often violent mating practices. New research shows that, in order to avoid getting eaten during sex, male nursery spiders will tie up their partners with silken threads. And yes, it’s as horrible as it sounds.
Unintended pregnancies are at a 30 year low in the United States. Experts say the welcome downtrend is mostly attributable to the burgeoning use of long-acting contraceptive methods, especially IUDs.
Some men produce sperm that are poor swimmers, a major cause of infertility. To help, researchers from Germany have developed motorized cyborg “spermbots” that can be guided directly to an egg.
The identical triplets headed home from a Houston hospital today are being called “one in a million” multiples by doctors. The reason we don’t have more identical triplets running around is very simple—and it probably goes against what you’ve heard about twins (or triplets, for that matter).
Sperm usually swim in a 3D shimmy: a spiral wave travels down the whippy flagellum and rotates its head in a circle around its long axis. That “bulk swimming” is fine most of the time, but it isn’t a great option when a sperm cell gets close to a surface. That’s when they switch to “slither” mode.
The New York Times is following a team of doctors at the Cleveland Clinic as they attempt the first uterus transplant in the United States. If successful, the procedure will let women who’ve had a hysterectomy, or who were born without a uterus, carry a fetus to term and give birth.
The birds you see above are all ruffs (Philomachus pugnax): wading birds that summer in marshes through Northern Europe and Asia. All three are wearing different forms of breeding plumage. And all of them are male.
Seahorses are famous for flipping the usual reproductive pattern on its head–a seahorse female impregnates the male by laying eggs in his pouch, and the male cares for the developing babies through an 18 day “pregnancy.” But you have to wonder: how does she get her eggs in there?
Northeastern University biologist Jonathan Tilly is certain he’s found egg-making stem cells in adult mice. If he’s right, it would refute decades-old work that showed female mammals finish making all their eggs before or shortly after birth. This might make it possible to grow new eggs inside the ovaries of older…
For the past 25 years, men whose sperm can’t manage the arduous swim across a Petri dish have had the option of injecting a single sperm cell directly into an egg. But that method still left some sterile men out in the cold.
Last week at Buzzfeed News, Dan Vergano described the surprising results of a paternity test–the first known case of a man fathering the son of a brother he didn’t know existed. It’s an example of a rare genetic condition known as chimerism.
Biologists already knew that one set of neurons play a big role in triggering puberty. A new study shows that these neurons don’t stop working once puberty ends, but keep running through adulthood, serving as a sort of reproductive timer.
A couple of months ago, the Twitter hashtag #JunkOff got biologists to post photos that displayed the extravagant weirdness of plant and animal genitalia. Yesterday, evolutionary geneticist Tom Houslay dared them to write about what animals actually do with their junk.
As sperm swim they transform chemical energy into motion, the way a car’s engine uses gas to propel you down the road. Like that engine, the process is complicated—if just one part stops working, the whole system can grind to a halt. This idea might lead to a contraceptive for men that’s reversible.