A NEW type of male contraceptive could be in sight after Scottish scientists discovered a gene critical for sperm production.
Edinburgh University researchers found that the gene Katnal1 was vital for enabling sperm to mature in the testes, a breakthrough that means drugs could one day be used to regulate sperm production, without altering hormones.
Conventional male contraceptives work by disrupting the production of hormones, which can cause side-effects such as irritability, mood swings and acne.
Dr. Lee Smith, from the university, said, “If we can find a way to target this gene in the testes, we could potentially develop a non-hormonal contraceptive. The important thing is that the effects of such a drug would be reversible because Katnal1 only affects sperm cells in the later stages of development, so it would not hinder the early stages of sperm production and the overall ability to produce sperm.”
via Herald Sun
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