1. The infertility crisis is beyond doubt. Now scientists must find the cause | Science

    The topic has become the mainstay of dystopian science fiction. Our world is afflicted by widespread infertility and childless civilisations are left hovering on the brink of collapse. Children of Men and The Handmaid’s Tale provide perfect examples of these unsettling narratives. Yet the scenarios outlined in these books and dramatisations may be less fanciful than is first supposed. Indeed, reaction to a study of male infertility, published last week, suggests we may already be hurtling towards such a fate. According to scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, sperm counts among men in the west have more than ...

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    1. We are still relatively ignorant about the causes of male infertility, and as a matter of urgency we need to increase, substantially, our research effort into male reproductive health.
    2. The end of humanity is not approaching.
    3. This creates a double whammy for fertility in modern western societies.
    4. Almost every aspect of modern life – from mobile phones to smoking and oral contraceptives [contaminating drinking water] – has been blamed for declining sperm counts, but no convincing evidence has emerged to link any of them to the problem.
    5. This new analysis has gone a long way to get round the flaws of previous studies, so I am much less sceptical about the reality of declining sperm counts in the west.
    6. We should have funded large epidemiological studies of healthy males 25 years ago and this would – by now – have given us a clear answer one way or the other.
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