New male contraception: Turning off the "fertility gene"?

In lab studies, the research team found that mice with genetic mutations that interrupted Katnal1 became infertile.

Although the research is still in the preliminary stages, the authors say that if a drug could be developed to hinder Katnal1, it could potentially serve as a reversible contraceptive.

“If we can find a way to target this gene in the testes, we could potentially develop a non-hormonal contraceptive,” researcher Dr. Lee Smith of the University of Edinburgh said in a news release. ”The important thing is that the effects of such a drug would be reversible because Katnal1 only affects sperm cells in the later stages of development, so it would not hinder the early stages of sperm production and the overall ability to produce sperm.”

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