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Thursday, 12th April 2012
In General Japan News,

Japanese scientists make sperm breakthrough

Scientists in Japan have made a major breakthrough after successfully breeding a mouse from sperm that had been freeze-dried.

The implications for sperm storage could be significant, with the recent power shortages following the earthquake and tsunami causing many nitrogen-frozen sperm cells to die when systems shut down, the Mainichi Daily reported.

While freeze drying is regularly used to preserve food, when applied to sperm it usually destroys the cell's DNA, but a team from Kyoto University have come up with a way to prevent this happening.

Magnesium ions within the sperm cells cause the DNA to decompose, so researchers removed the ions before freeze-drying a sperm sample.

The study was undertaken by Kyoto University's Institute of Laboratory Animals and Takehito Kaneko was one of the key researchers.

"Through this experiment, we learned that freeze-dried sperm can survive even in an environment of radical temperature changes, such as during an air cargo flight," he told the news provider.

Earlier this month, Japanese scientists developed a solar battery that is so thin it can wrap around a strand of hair.

Written by Susan Ballion