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A pill that stops sperm in their tracks? Believe it. A team of scientists in Australia has figured out how to modify the genes of mice so that they don’t release sperm during intercourse. The mice still ejaculate happily and their sex drive is unaffected, but the scientists have blocked two proteins that control the transport of sperm during orgasm. In short: The little guys’ swimmers simply don’t leave their body, totally preventing any chance of pregnancy.
In the past, similar experiments have focused on disrupting hormones or causing the body to produce dysfunctional sperm, both of which risk negative, long-term effects to a guy’s sex drive and fertility. But this discovery has changed the game: Now that scientists know which proteins need to be blocked to make a guy infertile, they can start work on a pill that would produce the same result without needing to genetically modify anyone — and the effect would be completely reversible. The catch? It’ll take about ten years to get the final product on shelves. But it’s nice to have something to look forward to, right?
Would you rely on male contraception? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet the author @ncjms.