[Ed. – Now if only they can find a way for men experience labor pains.]
In a black-and-white film, sperm cells swim furiously in all directions, crashing into one another on their frantic journey to reproduction. In a second film, the sperm cells are barely moving.
What’s the difference between the two? Poison.
In what could be the next great hope in contraceptive research, a team at the University of Minnesota has found a way to halt the movement of sperm by adapting a molecule from an ancient African plant that warriors once used to poison the tips of their arrows. If their research takes them successfully through clinical trials and eventually to market, a warrior’s poison could become the first male birth control pill.
It’s about time, said the scientists behind this discovery.
“An agent like this would be helpful to couples to better plan their families when they want to have children, and it would not be all on the woman,” said Gunda Georg, head of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the U’s College of Pharmacy and one of the national leaders in the search for a male contraceptive.