Scientists from the School of Environmental Studies (SES), Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi have developed a kit to diagnose male infertility.
The tool is based on an earlier discovery, by the same team of scientists, of a gene called HABP1. This gene produces hyaluronan binding protein (HBP) that plays a role in regulating the life cycle and motility of sperms, the sex cells produced by males. Sperm motility is a critical factor in achieving fertilisation of the female egg.
The kit measures HBP levels, which if low indicate infertility. The product has been patented and will soon be available in the market.
This finding can also play a significant role in cancer treatment. "The HABP1 gene can cause cell death and it can be used to design a method by which it can stop the uncontrolled growth of cells that occurs in cancers," explains Kasuri Dutta, a scientist working at SES.