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E. Applying Basic Science To Medicine

Narrator: This is Science Today. About ten percent of men with infertility have a syndrome called testicular maturation arrest in which sperm are blocked from developing properly. Shelley Chu, a graduate student at the University of California, San Francisco found that yeast spores undergo a similar process.

Chu: Some infertile males have sperm which can not develop and instead, they arrest at a certain point and we now know that they're yeast mutants which arrest at the same point.

Narrator: Chu found there's a gene in yeast, which researchers termed NDT80, which plays a role in helping spores mature past this block in formation.

Chu: If an NDT80-like molecule is actually found in human sperm, the potential ramifications of that is that the infertility arrest of males with testicular maturation arrest perhaps could somehow be helped by supplying NDT80.

Narrator: While this is very far in the future, Chu says the results are exciting since it links a study in basic science to possible medical ramifications. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.