Shoot! Just What The World Needs: Artificial Mouse Sperm


Humans’ desire to reproduce and pass on their genes – possibly onto offspring who might eventually exist on rocks closer to or further from the sun – sometimes defy reason.

The U.S., in conjunction with a few other nations, are devoting untold hundreds of millions of dollars annually to pursuing knowledge about space, what’s ‘out there’, and how we might capitalize on, and perhaps populate, places that, in all practical terms, no member of earth’s human race is likely to ever get remotely close to.

And now we learn, via HealthDay News, that “scientists in China say they used mouse stem cells to create functional mouse sperm and turned them into sperm-like cells that were injected into eggs to produce embryos.”

After ‘normal’ development – for something so abnormal – “healthy and fertile” infant mice were generated. HealthDay News cited Cell Stem Cell as a source.

That web site’s 74-strong editorial board, apparently comprising nearly as many experts as the world needs on a field few ordinary humans understand, undoubtedly endorsed that rodent-creating effort. (Yeah, I know, it was a scientific study, meant to provide guidance toward . . . something. Something other than more rodents!)

I find myself feeling like James Spader in one if his closing arguments on Boston Legal — one of the best TV series produced in recent years. (It’s right up there with Scandal, Nashville, and the Chicago cops and medical franchises that from time to time do cross-overs with Law & Order/SVU, a long-time favorite of mine and hoards of others, judging from its years of serial showings.)

Spader has an amazing way of expressing total incredulity about his opponent’s arguments. I can only imagine how stretched that look would be if he had to, in the course of a defense, justify why, while  humans have spend vast millions trying to rid ‘our’ world of rodents, Chinese scientists would spend untold millions of yuan, or renminbi, a less-commonly understood name for China’s currency, to artificially producing sperm for more of them!

These are, indeed, strange times.


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