LONDON, UK, December 11, 2003 ( – BBC News Online reports the creation of sperm cells from stem cells by researchers at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Stem cells are undifferentiated cells, which means they can be transformed into cells ordered to almost any bodily tissue. These cells are the subject of numerous studies looking at treatment of degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.  This procedure could spell a new trend in in-vitro fertilization (IVF) technology, with a potential source of sperm cells for infertile couples where the father has inviable sperm. Because IVF requires viable sperm from a man, if the husband does not have such sperm, a “donor” is used, necessitating the conception of a child who is unrelated to the parent. Currently, if a mother’s eggs are inviable, one trend is to harvest eggs from aborted girls.  The scientists at Whitehead Institute claim to have “fertilised” a mouse egg – the first step in the process of creating a new embryo – using sperm created from the stem cells of mice.  Read the BBC Online coverage at: