Baby monkey is first primate created using sperm from tissue transplanted into dad

The technique could help boys made infertile by cancer treatment to become fathers later in life.

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A one-of-a-kind rhesus macaque named Grady is growing up under intense scrutiny at the Oregon National Primate Research Center in Beaverton. That’s because she has an unusual pedigree: researchers created her using sperm from tissue harvested from her father’s testicles when he was young, and then grafted onto his body as an adult. If all goes well with Grady, the technique might one day be used to restore fertility in boys who have received damaging cancer treatments.

Grady’s birth, reported on 21 March in Sciencemarks a crucial success in the long-running effort to provide the possibility of fatherhood to boys who are treated for cancer before they are old enough to make sperm that could be frozen and stored for future use. The reproductive biologists who developed the method are now watching the nearly year-old macaque (Macaca mulatta) closely to see whether she develops normally.

By: Heidi Ledford/Nature News

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