The Checkup: Male Birth Control Pill May Be Possible
Researchers say lab experiments hold promise.
• Don’t go running off to the doctor just yet, but here’s some (awesome? interesting? crazy?) news: Researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Baylor College of Medicine say they may have found a way to make a male birth control pill. In a lab study, they injected male mice with a molecule they call JQ1, which targets and inhibits a protein in the sperm-making cells, preventing sperm from maturing and causing sperm levels to drop low enough that it rendered the mice infertile. “But while the mice couldn’t sire offspring,” TIME Healthland reports, “JQ1 didn’t interfere with their sex drive—over an 18-month period on the drug, mice produced as much testosterone and mated as much as usual. What’s more, when animals stopped treatment, their fertility was restored in one or two months.” They’re still a ways off from trying it on humans, but researchers are hopeful that the molecule could have the same reversible effect, since human sperm cells are similar to those of mice.
• Fearful of sunburn? Try a face-kini. The sun-blocking face mask is all the rage in China, reports NPR.
• Mrs. Obama dined with some new faces at the White House yesterday: 54 kids and their parents, winners of a White House healthy recipe contest. Chefs whipped up the recipes and FLOTUS and her guests noshed kale chips; corn, bean and quinoa salad; and fresh fruit smoothies. Recipes here.