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G. Shyamala Harris and colleagues at Berkeley Lab have created a transgenic mouse line that can model male infertility and provide information for the development of male contraceptives and fertility boosters. Only the homozygous males of this line are sterile. Therefore, the fertile heterozygotes ensure a continuous supply of the infertile, low androgen homozygotes, and serve as an excellent control. Study of these mice is aimed at detailing the mechanisms underlying male infertility. Currently, infertility is studied by comparative analysis between fertile and non-fertile individuals. The subjects in these studies do not represent a homogeneous experimental group, with infertility resulting of any number of influences. Comparative analysis of these individuals cannot provide definitive answers, only conjecture and anomalies. Berkeley Lab’s new transgenic mice will overcome these difficulties and could be used as a tool for the development of new strategies for enhancing male fertility.
Provides homogeneous experimental groups - Heterozygotes remain fertile, ensuring supply of infertile homozygotes
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