Scientific experiment makes mice produce rat sperm

Image of the article titled A scientific experiment that makes mice produce rat sperm

picture: George Shuklin (Wikimedia Commons)

It seems the main topic From Jurassic Park: cScientists in Switzerland seem to have achieved a remarkable feat, creating seemingly sterile and healthy mice that can produce mice sperm cells. The team says these rodent chimeras failed to produce viable rats, but the work could lead to a new way to keep the species on the brink of extinction.

Scientists routinely modify the genes of animals in Labs To carry out various experiments, even to the point of multiplying mice with cells or organs very similar to those of other animals, including humans. One relatively new method designed to achieve this is known as blastocyst integration.

In the past, other researchers have used This technique of attaching mouse embryos to pluripotent stem cells taken from another animal, cells that have the potential to become any other type of cell. However, the embryos were first modified in a way that prevents mice from developing certain organs. Once introduced into the embryos of mice, the borrowed stem cells acted as a kind of genetic putty, to fill in what would have been missing during the development process. This method was even used to create mice with some organs that clearly resemble mice.

Now in a new studio Published Thursday in the journal Stem Cell Reports, biologists from ETH University in Zurich have gone further. Using the same method, they first engineered male mouse embryos that were supposed to be sterile and Add stem cells to rats. s They managed to create rat or rat hybrids. Mice were not able to produce functional sperm in mice, but they did produce rat-like sperm. Most of the sham animals also looked and behaved like normal mice, with no apparent risk of additional health problems.

Image of the article titled A scientific experiment that makes mice produce rat sperm

picture: Joel Zvik / ETH Zurich

“Nos sorprendió la relativa simplicidad con la que podíamos mezclar las dos especies para producir quimeras ratón-rata viables. Estos animales, en general, parecían sanos y se desarrollaron con normalidad, aunque portaban células de ratón y rata en un animal quimérico”, dijo en un comunicado el autor del estudio, Ori Bar-Nur, biólogo de células madre en ETH Zurich. “La segunda sorpresa fue que efectivamente todos los espermatozoides dentro de las quimeras eran de origen de rata. Como tal, el entorno del huésped del ratón, que era estéril debido a una mutación genética, aún podía soportar la producción eficiente de espermatozoides de una especie animal diferente”.

Los hallazgos del equipo tienen varias implicaciones importantes. Por un lado, ha resultado difícil convertir las células madre pluripotentes en espermatozoides y óvulos funcionales, por lo que esta investigación puede ofrecer algunas lecciones de las que aprender. También es posible que este método algún día pueda acelerar la producción de ratas genéticamente modificadas, ya que estos ratones estériles teóricamente podrían ofrecer una forma más fiable de crear espermatozoides y óvulos de rata diseñados. Pero la posibilidad más tentadora es que podríamos crear híbridos capaces de Breeding a new generation of other closely related and extinct species.

This latest application of this technology may raise some thorny ethical questions, although it’s not likely to be a feasible feat any time soon. It is possible that the sperm from the chimera resembled the sperm of mice, but they could not move on their own as usual. And while scientists were able to successfully fertilize mouse eggs with chimeric sperm,The resulting embryos did not develop normally and did not result in viable offspring.

CurrentlyThat day, the researchers plan to improve their technique Mice can be born from this illusion. As they point out They will have to show that it is possible to create the bodies of female rodents with viable eggs before this technology can really be used to try to conserve the species. Aharon Scientists hope that blastocyst supplementation will have other important uses in the future, such as creating From pigs with human organs Fit for transplant.

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