Yesterday I saw the sentence "Infertile, Offspring Viable"

What does that even mean?

If the parents are infertile, then they can't have produced children in the first place. Does this have a different meaning in English?

Thank you. :)

closed as off-topic by AndyT, Edwin Ashworth, fixer1234, choster, JEL Jun 13 '17 at 5:54

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    Could you expand the quote and give us the source? – Jacinto Jun 12 '17 at 7:01
  • Answering really needs more context. However, "infertile" could refer to the offspring. – fixer1234 Jun 12 '17 at 8:11
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because more context is needed. – AndyT Jun 12 '17 at 9:19
  • You may be interested in this answer on another question, which suggests that in the medical world fertility is to do with having children, whereas fecundity is to do with the ability to have children. Seems the wrong way around to me, but it might explain the phrase you have found. – AndyT Jun 12 '17 at 9:23
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    @AndyT Actually, that answer references a restricted usage in demographics, specifically fertility rate. In medical dictionaries, "fertility" is the capacity to conceive or to induce conception., which may be why that whole question may have seemed off to you, as it did to me. – Cascabel Jun 12 '17 at 15:47

No, your phrase (it is not a sentence, which may have caused some of the problem) means what you think it does. What is intended by 'the offspring of an infertile organism' is something that only reading the scientific paper would reveal. It might be, for example, that the 'mother' is unable to give birth, but viable offspring can result from a test-tube conception; whatever is meant, it is a scientific and not a linguistic problem.

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