Papers hype all-female conception
Scientists say they have managed for the first time to create artificial sperm cells, a development that the popular press has seized upon as a sign that sterile men -- and even women -- may be able to fertilize eggs in the future.
The researchers turned adult stem cells from bone marrow into immature sperm cells. They're excited about the discovery, but say that it could take three to five years to develop a process whereby the cells develop into the more mature sperm cells found in the testes.
"This finding is of interest but we really need to be very cautious about the interpretation," a leading biologist tells BBC News.
No one seems to have shared that word of caution with the headline writers on Fleet Street. Here's how the story's being covered by the British press:
• Daily Mail: "A transplant technique has been devised that could effectively remove men from the process of creating life."
• Daily Telegraph: "Women could one day grow their own sperm, says a scientist who today claims to have turned bone marrow into early-stage sperm cells."
• The Independent: "Women might soon be able to produce sperm in a development that could allow lesbian couples to have their own biological daughters, according to a pioneering study published today."