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Scientists said this week that they had made the long-sought discovery of how sperm latches onto an egg in the very first spark of reproduction, the outcome of a near decade-long hunt.

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Researchers investigating the cause of male infertility think they’ve spotted a means to male contraception. A group at the University of Edinburgh has identified a gene essential to late-stage sperm production. Developing a drug that turns off that gene or interrupts its functioning could lead to temporary infertility in men without tampering with hormones.

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Cryos, an international network of sperm banks based in Denmark, is refusing donations from gingers, because, says director Ole Schou, there simply isn't demand outside of Ireland, where red hair sells "like hot cakes." The company is most interested in sperm from Indian donors and those with brown hair and eyes. (more)

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They've gone and done it, those crafty scientists: As reported by Nature (as in the publication), a team of Japanese researchers has successfully cultivated "fully developed sperm" from "immature mouse testicles." And they're not just showing off.

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