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A. Finding Clues About Infertility in Yeast

Narrator: This is Science Today. The same yeast used to brew beer and make bread has given researchers at the University of California, San Francisco possible insight into a male infertility syndrome in which sperm cells stop developing. Researcher Shelley Chu found a parallel to this syndrome, called testicular maturation arrest, in yeast spores.

Chu: We were characterizing a gene which is required for a transition in yeast sporulation which also occurs in sperm formation and now we understand molecularly how this transition occurs in yeast and we're proposing and it's likely, that similar molecular mechanisms occur in sperm formation.

Narrator: Chu and her colleagues have called this gene NDT80.

Chu: We propose there's some NDT80-like molecule in sperm which is also necessary to push the cells through sperm formation.

Narrator: If this is the case, the future may offer hope for male sterility in the form of gene therapy. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.