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The quest for male birth control, other than of the latex kind, has moved a step closer with the discovery of a gene involved in sperm production.  From The Independent story:

A contraceptive pill for men which works by preventing sperm development could result from the discovery of a new gene, scientists have said. The gene, which is active in the testes, controls the final stages of sperm development. Blocking it would result in temporary infertility, without permanently damaging a man’s sperm-making machinery, the researchers said...

When the gene is blocked, the testes continue to make sperm, but only ineffective, immature sperm are released, said Lee Smith of Edinburgh University. “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 overall ability to produce sperm,” he said.

A couple of thoughts.  Many men are very sensitive about their virility and may be reluctant to mess with the plumbing. Beyond that, never forget that men are dogs.  Even if this comes to safe fruition, no woman should ever believe the line, “Don’t worry baby, I’m on the pill.”

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