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It's Alive!

Researchers in Japan have turned murine embryonic stem cells into fully functioning sperm, which they've also used to fertilize mouse eggs in vitro, says 80beats' Joseph Castro. When the researchers implanted the embryos via surrogate mothers, the pregnant mice produced healthy offspring. The researchers, who published their work in Cell, created epiblast-like cells from a mixture containing embryonic stem cells and several growth factors and proteins, and then turned the epiblast cells into primordial germ cells, Castro says. They then injected those germ cells into the testes of sterile mice, and found the cells had morphed into normal-looking sperm. "There is still a long way to go before the work can be translated to people — the main hurdle will be figuring out how to make human sperm cells from induced pluripotent stem cells, which are often taken from adult skin cells and other tissue," Castro says, adding that while the researchers were also able to generate functional sperm from murine iPSCs, "the process was a lot less successful than when they used embryonic stem cells." Eventually, however, the researchers hope this work will help solve the problem of human infertility, he adds.

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.