Sperm team ready to reach the egg! Doing this helps them swim in a straight line – like a school of fish going upstream.
- Researchers at Cornell University and North Carolina’s A&T State University studied bull sperm, which is similar to humans.
- They found that sperm in groups were more likely to swim in a straight line for longer.
- They were also less likely to be swept away when the current was strong.
- The researchers said their paper could help with fertility treatments.
A study has shown that sperm swim in pairs like a fish up the fallopian tube to reach the woman’s egg.
Researchers from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, and North Carolina A&T (NC A&T) found that those who were in groups were more likely to swim in a straight line and – when there was a current – less likely to be swept away. was But they weren’t much faster than their competitors going it alone.
Scientists say the research could help in the selection of sperm for use in in vitro fertilization (IVF) in fertility treatments, as the method would remove the natural check of weak sperm found in a woman’s reproductive system. Is.
More and more couples are opting for IVF because people are having children later or struggling to conceive due to low sperm count. Every year in the United States, several thousand babies are born this way.
Some of the bull sperm in the study are shown above. The yellow circles in the image above indicate who is swimming in which groups.
Men have better sperm quality if their ancestral families are large.
A study found that men from large families have better quality sperm.
Researchers at the University of Utah discovered that men who had more ancestors had higher rates of healthy motile sperm.
Comparing the men’s sperm with the number of children their predecessors had over nine generations showed that the subjects’ sperm count increased by 1.8 million for each additional child in the family history.
Struggles to conceive can also be inherited, as small families seem to carry the streak down the generations.
In the study – published Thursday in the journal Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology – Researchers looked at the behavior of sperm from bulls or bulls.
This is a good comparison, as sperm are similar to humans, unlike mice where the cells have spikes to hold onto each other.
In the experiment, sperm were injected through tiny tubes into a microfluidic device, which mimicked the confines of the female reproductive system.
It was filled with a viscoelastic fluid, similar to the female reproductive system, with the consistency of melted cheese.
His flow was then changed to see how the sperm responded, with some swimming together at each stage.
When there was no flow, the scientists noticed that sperm in groups changed direction less and were more likely to swim in a straight line.
But when it was stretched slightly, the clustered sperm were better aligned and looked ‘like a school of fish moving upwards’.
The scientists also tested rapid flow, which showed that sperm that stay together are less likely to flow.
But the research team also noted that the grouping behavior did not cause the sperm cells to swim faster than their competitors.
“In general, I would say that [movement] Benefits that are not speed increases are not routine, and therefore significant.
‘In some ways we open up new avenues for testing sperm performance.’
He added: ‘In the long term, our understanding may provide better selection of sperm used for interventions such as in vitro fertilization or other assisted reproductive technologies.
‘As may be required [these methods] generally omit some or all of the elective procedures in the way of women and obtain less favorable results.’
In the US, several thousand babies are born each year through IVF. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Recommend
But more than two-thirds of all procedures end in failure — as the fertilized egg fails to attach to the lining of the uterus.
In IVF, the sperm cells are put through several stages to determine which will be the best to fertilize the egg.
This involves placing another fluid on top of the semen and monitoring it so that the sperm float through it, and separating the cells by density.
Scientists hope the sperm motility test can be used in another instance.
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