Scientists create human sperm

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Newcastle: British scientists created human sperm from stem cells for the first time in a bid to better understand the causes of male infertility.

The researchers, led by Karim Nayernia from Newcastle University, developed a technique to turn stem cells with male chromosomes from human embryos into reproductive cells, known as germline, and prompt them to divide, they said in a study published in the journal Stem Cells and Development today. The divided cells produced functional sperm, the scientists said.

The new technique “will allow researchers to study in detail how sperm forms and lead to a better understanding of infertility in men,” Professor Nayernia said in a statement released with the study. “This understanding could help us develop new ways to help couples suffering infertility so they can have a child which is genetically their own.”

The research may also help scientists understand how genetic diseases are passed on, according to the statement.

The lab-created sperm won’t be used for “fertilization of human eggs and implantation of embryos,” the researchers said. “While we can understand that some people may have concerns, this does not mean that humans can be produced ‘in a dish’ and we have no intention of doing this,” they wrote.

Stem cells, which have the power to become any type of cell in the body, are controversial when research involves human embryos, which are killed when the cells are harvested.

In another medical journal last week, more than 40 scientists, bio-ethicists, lawyers and science journal editors called on their colleagues and policy makers to develop guidelines for the research and reproductive use of stem cell- derived eggs and sperm.

Exercise is good for pets and owners – advice from Dr Carol Osborne

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PETS AND HUMANS BOTH LIVE LONGER WITH EXERCISE
says top vet Carol Osborne

How Much Exercise Do Dogs Need?
Dogs needs at least 20 minutes of exercise twice a day. The exact amount varies with age, breed, weight and physical condition.

DonÂ’t jump off the sofa one minute and take a ten mile hike the next, dogs, like people, need to get in shape gradually a little bit each day. Try starting with a couple of ten minute walks and you can both build up from there. And if your pet hasnÂ’t taken much exercise recently get the vet to check him/her out before you begin the programme.

One hour of exercise increases your dogÂ’s lifespan by 4 hours. Devise a fitness programme for your dog and you may find that you get as much out of it, if not more, than your dog.

Exercise Is Fun With Your Dog!
Exercise is integral to life. Not only is it essential for optimal health, it also improves circulation, stimulates vital organs, facilitates digestion and helps eliminate harmful toxins from the body. Exercise provides aerobic activity that stimulates your dog mentally and physically. And exercising with pets is fun. It is a great way to bond, and it is as good for you as it is for your dog. Most owners end up looking forward to this “special time” as much as their dog does.

Some enlightened fitness centres open their doors to people and pets – use it or loose it doesn’t just apply to people.

Exercise Goals

Exercise promotes confidence, self-esteem and well being. If you make the commitment to eat right and exercise at least 20 minutes twice a day, you and your dog will look good and feel great! Exercise enhances your health, your looks and your life. Before long youÂ’ll both be wagging your tails!
If your dog canÂ’t exercise, you can help by learning canine massage. ItÂ’s therapeutic and stimulates vital tissues. ItÂ’s also fun and feels great.

PUP-ULAR CANINE SPORTS (Little League Anyone?)

Playgrounds and obstacle courses are great ways to have fun and stay in shape. You can construct obstacles using odds and ends in your garden or buy them already made from a pet shop.

Sports Equipment
Treadmills for Dogs
They are great for dogs of all ages, including those that are older and arthritic. Pets can use them if the weather is bad, if they live in an apartment or if you just canÂ’t get outside. Canine treadmills come with adjustable inclines and speeds. They are fun for pets and when your dogÂ’s done you can use it too!

Fun Exercises for Dogs & their People
Walks

All dog love to go for walks. They are especially good for lap and toy breeds that are too small to do a lot of exercises.
Jogging
Jogging is especially fun for bird and herding breeds that love to run. Be careful if itÂ’s very hot or very cold and if your dog stops to lie down you need to stop too

Roller Blading
Roller blading is worth a try. Just like jogging, its fun with dogs that love to run. Be sure you’re good on wheels and don’t forget your kneepads.

Frisbee
Frisbee is great with breeds that like to focus on objects; Border Collies and Australian Shepard’s find Frisbees fascinating.

Swimming
Most bird dogs, Labradors, Retrievers and even some Mastiffs love the water. It is also therapeutic for older, arthritic dogs. Be sure your dog can swim, because like people, not all can. Stay near by and keep a close eye on him.

Have a Ball
WITH BALL GAMES. BE SURE THE BALL IS BIG ENOUGH SO YOUR DOG CANNOT SWALLOW OR CHOKE ON IT. Also make sure it’s made of sturdy material like hard rubber so your dog can’t chew it into little pieces and risk choking. Dogs get plenty of exercise fetching and frolicking with balls. They also enjoy chasing, chewing, bouncing and pouncing on them,
Some balls have compartments you can fill with treats like apples, carrots or cucumbers. They’re purr-fect for pet’s that enjoy a good game of “Hide and Go Seek”. TheyÂ’re also great boredom busters if you’re out for the afternoon or at work.

EXERCISES TO AVOID WITH YOUR DOG
Avoid rough games like tug of war, wrestling and those that involve your dog chasing you. These games encourage aggression and teach your dog to struggle against you as opposed to working with you.

Dr Carol Osborne DVM is the worldÂ’s only veterinarian to be a board certified Diplomat of the American Academy of Anti-Ageing Medicine. She has her own bespoke pet health products at www.drcarol.com