A male birth control pill might not be so far-fetched, now that Scottish scientists have uncovered a key gene essential for sperm development.
The gene - called Katnal1 - is critical for sperm production because it enables sperm to mature in the testes. Thus, if scientists can somehow regulate this gene with a pill, sperm production will be stalled.
"If we can find a way to target this gene in the testes, we could potentially develop a non-hormonal contraceptive," said study author Dr. Lee Smith, a reader in genetic endocrinology at the Medical Research Council Center for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
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