Hatchlings with sperm from frozen mice

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Scientists obtain healthy offspring from frozen mice sperm

According to an article published Aug. 15 in the online version of The Guardian, the Jurassic Park story could come true. In this way, species long extinct could be brought back to life.

Sperm is often frozen for use in assisted reproduction of humans and animals, as well as for the conservation of endangered species, but unfortunately, thawed sperm cannot always fertilize an egg.

Atsuo Ogura, from the Bio-Resource Center at Japan's Physical and Chemical Research Institute (RIKEN), led a research team with the goal of overcoming this problem. To do this, they frozen testes, epididymis and whole bodies of lifeless mice at -80ºC for periods of time ranging from a week to a year. Later, they extracted sperm from the organs and bodies of the mice and injected it into mature eggs. By freezing parts of the mouse and not just the sperm, the DNA remained intact and was able to fertilize the eggs.

According to the conclusions of the study, published in the online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the sperm extracted from mice frozen at -20ºC for 15 years also managed to give rise to healthy offspring.

Source: The Guardian

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