- News Home
6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
- About Us
ScienceShot: Protein Makes Sperm Flee
13 November 2012 12:25 pm
A compound that causes immature sperm cells to flee the testes early may provide new leads for contraceptives. Scientists pursuing a "male pill" have recently found multiple ways to disrupt sperm production, usually by shutting down genes and proteins unique to the testes. Now, a team led by C. Yan Cheng of the Population Council's Center for Biomedical Research in New York City has identified a new way to stop spermatogenesis: disrupting the blood-testis barrier, a cellular firewall between the testes and blood circulation. When Cheng's team injected a special protein fragment into rat testes, the blood-testis barrier broke down. This caused immature sperm to drift out of the testes early, before they were capable of fertilizing eggs. More importantly, these changes were reversible. The team reported their findings online today in Nature Communications. Any potential male contraceptive would be many years off and would require many more tests. Cheng's team, for instance, has not tested whether rats injected with this protein fragment father fewer offspring. But Cheng says the advantage of this protein over other potential contraceptives is that the body produces it naturally in small amounts, so it's likely to be well tolerated.
See more ScienceShots.