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New 'Male Birth Control' Compound Can Temporarily Turn Off Sperm Formation

•, Stephanie Pappas
 Successful experiments in mice offer new hope in the search for the elusive male birth control pill, researchers report today.

A small molecular compound can induce temporary infertility in mice by targeting the process of sperm formation, or spermatogenesis, according to the study to be published Friday (Aug. 17) in the journal Cell. It will be a long journey to a drug in humans, if that day comes at all, but researchers are hopeful that they have hit on a compound with few side effects.

"No one has ever had a drug that they've been able to test in mice that actually targets the germline, that is the spermatogenic cells, that has reversibility," said study researcher Martin Matzuk, a developmental biologist at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

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