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A French-led team of doctors has made a controversial breakthrough for childless couples by fertilizing human eggs from fathers who have no sperm, the French daily Le Monde said Wednesday.

It said a healthy boy weighing 7 pounds 7 ounces was recently born from an egg that was given a micro-injection with a cell found in the semen of a man previously considered to be sterile.The paper said the technique used by doctors led by Jacques Testart of France's National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) was to inject eggs with spermatids - cells that normally mature into normal spermatozoon.

The tests covered couples where the men produced spermatid cells but lacked mature sperm, Le Monde said. Testart and a colleague, Jan Tesarik at the American hospital in Neuilly, a Paris suburb, were unavailable for comment.

Fourteen of 39 eggs injected led to the development of a human embryo and, apart from the child already born, another is due in September, Le Monde said.

The technique was an extension of a recently developed method of injecting fully developed sperm into eggs as a fertility treatment pioneered in Belgium, it said.