It seems our days our numbered. Scientists have artificially created sperm in test tube meaning that we could one day be taken out of the baby-making equation.

However the news could also be the answer to thousands of infertile men across the globe trying for children.

Researchers in the UK have made sperm in the laboratory from mouse stem cells and this was then used to "father" seven mice, six of which lived into adulthood.

Professor Karim Nayernia, of Newcastle University and the lead author of a paper published yesterday in Cell Development, said: "For the first time we have created life using artificial sperm".

Scientists believe it could be used to treat some forms of male infertility within 5 years.

However, some experts were cautious about the potential, pointing out that the mice were born with abnormalities similar to the kind seen in cloned animals such as problems with growth, breathing, walking and, ironically, fertility.