Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Cell lifts embargo early on male birth control study because of “breach”

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Mice — at least those who could read — learned about a successful male birth control pill for their species several hours ahead of schedule today.

From a Cell Press email at 11:30 a.m. Eastern this morning, half an hour before the scheduled embargo time:

The following press release is no longer under embargo due to a breach in Cell Press’s embargo policy. The paper is publishing online in the journal Cell on Thursday August 16th.

Finally, the promise of male birth control in a pill

Researchers have finally found a compound that may offer the first effective and hormone-free birth control pill for men. The study in the August 17th Cell, a Cell Press publication, shows that the small molecule makes male mice reversibly infertile without putting a damper on their sex drive. When the animals stop taking this new form of birth control, their sperm rebound and they are again able to sire perfectly healthy offspring.

The “breach in Cell Press’s embargo policy” apparently refers to a broken embargo, based on a response I had from the journal’s press office about the earliest story I could find in my Google Timeline, this one from the Australian. It went live at midnight in The Australian’s time zone (Sydney), which would have been 14 hours before the noon embargo. Cell tells Embargo Watch:

At this time, I cannot say for certain that the Australian outlet broke this embargo. Our press office is currently working to identify the news outlet.


Written by Ivan Oransky

August 16, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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