Scientists at the UK's government-funded Medical Research Council (MRC) and the University of Edinburgh are to carry out the biggest ever study into male reproductive health across the world. Researchers are recruiting 1,200 men aged between 21 and 31 for the three year study. Some evidence has shown that sperm counts have fallen by as much as 50 per cent over the last 50 years. Meanwhile, rates of testicular cancer have doubled in many parts of the world over the last 20 years with growing numbers of newborn males being born with reproductive deformities such as undescended testicles.
The researchers hope to gather more basic information about male reproduction by constructing a more representative sample of the population than the two groups traditionally studied by scientists - sperm donors and infertile men.