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SCIENCE
October 5, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Reaching a long-sought milestone, Japanese researchers have demonstrated in mice that eggs and sperm can be grown from stem cells and combined to produce healthy offspring, pointing to new treatments for infertility. If the achievement can be repeated in humans - and experts said they are optimistic that such efforts will ultimately succeed - the technique could make it easier for women in their 30s or 40s to become mothers. It could also help men and women whose reproductive organs have been damaged by cancer treatments or other causes.
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SCIENCE
October 4, 2012 | By Eryn Brown and Karen Kaplan
In a long-sought achievement, Japanese researchers have demonstrated in mice that both eggs and sperm can be grown from stem cells and combined to produce healthy offspring, pointing the way to a new avenue for fertility treatments. If the milestone accomplishment can be repeated in humans -- and experts said they are optimistic that such efforts will ultimately succeed -- the technique could make it easier for women in their 30s or 40s to become mothers. It could also help men and women whose reproductive organs have been damaged by cancer treatments or other causes.
SCIENCE
September 17, 2012 | By Jon Bardin
It's a new day for sexual surveillance: A team of scientists has developed an imaging technique that allows three-dimensional tracking of the movements of 1,500 human sperm at one time. Because of the limitations of microscopes and other traditional tools for imaging moving objects such as sperm, scientists typically have been unable to watch the behavior of cells over time as they move. The new technique gets around this by imaging the shadows of sperm using light of two different wavelengths produced from two different angles at the same time. As a result, the researchers could simultaneously track hundreds of sperm as they moved through liquid.
WORLD
August 15, 2012 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
JERUSALEM - The founder of the Tel Aviv-based specialty firm raves about his product with the same gusto distillers reserve for their top-notch scotch. He's particularly proud of his "premium" line. Sure, it costs a bit more, but it's targeted at a more discriminating client. Dr. Jacob Ronen is in the sperm business. Among other things, as head of Cryobank Israel, the country's largest private sperm bank, he guarantees that his stable of superior donors includes only tall, twentysomething ex-soldiers whose sperm has passed rigorous genetic testing.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 2, 2012 | By Mark Olsen
"The Babymakers" starts out as an agreeable, playfully off-color comedy of contemporary domestic manners and loses course to become a slack, tacky slapstick. After months of trying to get his wife Audrey (Olivia Munn) pregnant, Tommy Macklin (Paul Schneider) is told by a doctor that his sperm are "confused. " While reeling from this blow to his masculine identity, he hatches a plan to steal back a batch of semen he had donated to a fertility clinic years before. On their own, just talking at dinner or alone in bed, Schneider and Munn are a winning pair, her high-energy type-A vibe playing well off his low-key delayed responses.
SCIENCE
June 26, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
A birth control gel for men sharply lowered sperm counts with few side effects, researchers reported Tuesday. The gel, containing testosterone and a synthetic progestin called Nestorone, will require substantially more testing, but it has the potential to become the first effective chemical birth control agent for males. The male hormone testosterone can turn off the production of reproductive hormones controlling the production of sperm. Progestin, a synthetic hormone similar to the naturally occurring hormone progesterone, can amplify the effects of testosterone.
NATIONAL
May 22, 2012 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - A widow who conceived a baby from the sperm of her late husband is not automatically entitled to Social Security survivors benefits to help raise the child, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The 9-0 decision rejected the claim that a biological child of a married couple, even one born years after the father died, always qualifies as his survivor under the Social Security Act. Instead, the justices upheld the government's multi-part definition of who deserves survivors benefits.
NATIONAL
March 19, 2012 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
The Supreme Court justices struggled with applying an "old law to new technology" in a case that asks whether children whose father died before they were born or even conceived are entitled to survivors benefits under the Social Security law. The justices heard the case of Karen Capato, a New Jersey mother who in September 2003 gave birth to twins through in vitro fertilization 18 months after her husband, Robert, had died of cancer in Florida....
OPINION
December 22, 2011
The way Trent Arsenault touts himself, he's a tall, healthy and educated altruist who helps others by donating his sperm (sans sexual intercourse) on a fairly large scale. The way the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sees it, he operates a sperm bank, albeit an informal and unpaid one, that fails to meet federal regulations. From our perspective, the FDA is overreaching. Arsenault, an electronics company engineer in the Bay Area, promotes his service through the Internet to women who want to get pregnant without paying the $400 to $600 fee that a commercial sperm bank would charge.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 22, 2011 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
The family has always been a more elastic body than the defenders of its narrowest definition would like to admit, and as science changes the face of procreation, and the Internet increases the flow of information, that body is stretching in new and unexpected ways. "Donor Unknown," which plays locally Sunday on PBS SoCal (KOCE) as part of "Independent Lens," looks at a particular group of people in a particular time — the half siblings anonymously fathered by a single sperm donor — but it's also a story of the general future: "And it's the beginning" are the last words spoken here.
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