boxer-887889_960_720Researchers are developing a non-surgical alternative to traditional spay and neuter by manipulating the “switches” that regulate how cells grow and mature in the sexual organs of dogs and cats.

Cliff notes:(More information w/author interview)

This method aims to eliminate many of the risks that have been found with traditional sterilization methods by avoiding the surgical procedures altogether.

The researchers have focused on a small group of RNA that controls the production of sperm and eggs.  These are manipulated by regulating the expression of a protein (PIWIL1) That is shown to be responsible for egg and sperm production.

Source: PIWIL1 Is Expressed in the Canine Testis, Increases with Sexual Maturity, and Binds Small RNAs