Human sperm bank on moon needed, scientists say - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Human sperm bank on moon needed, scientists say

Some Japanese scientists say that sperm banks on the moon should be maintained as a back-up in case a disaster strikes Earth. (Source: Ponciano/Pixabay) Some Japanese scientists say that sperm banks on the moon should be maintained as a back-up in case a disaster strikes Earth. (Source: Ponciano/Pixabay)

(RNN) - Human sperm should be stored beneath the moon's surface to ensure humanity's survival after a great disaster on Earth, researchers said. 

Scientists from the University of Yamanashi, Japan,  published their suggestion in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The scientists offered their suggestion after breeding baby mice with sperm that had been freeze-dried at zero gravity aboard the International Space Station. 

After nine months on the ISS, the sperm was returned to Earth and thawed. Despite the sperm DNA of the mice being slightly damaged, scientists say, it was used to give life to "space pups" that appeared to be healthy. 

Freeze-drying and burying the sperm deep underground, the scientists say, could help humans continue to live despite a natural or man-made disaster on Earth. 

“Underground storage on the moon, such as in lava tubes, could be among the best places for prolonged or permanent sperm preservation because of their very low temperatures, protection from space radiation by thick bedrock layers, and complete isolation from any disasters on Earth,” the team wrote.

Missions lasting years might require assisted reproductive technology for domestic animals and people, said Sayaka Wakayama, the lead researcher.

Storing sperm on the space station would not work, the scientists say. Radiation on the ISS "is more than 100 times stronger than that on Earth, and irradiation causes DNA damage in cells and gametes."

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