About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Human Sperm Swims in Entirely Different Way Than Earlier Thought, Say Scientists

by Colleen Fleiss on August 9, 2020 at 11:52 PM
Font : A-A+

Human Sperm Swims in Entirely Different Way Than Earlier Thought, Say Scientists

Scientists were able to scan the sperm swimming freely in 3D using a high-speed camera capable of recording over 55,000 frames in one second, and a microscope stage with a piezoelectric device. The study, published in the journal Science Advances, revealed the sperm tail is, in fact, wonky and only wiggles on one side.

About 300 years ago, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek used one of the earliest microscopes to describe human sperm as having a "tail, which, when swimming, lashes with a snakelike movement, like eels in the water".

Advertisement


This is an optical illusion, according to the new study.

"Human sperm figured out if they roll as they swim, much like playful otters corkscrewing through water, their one-sided stoke would average itself out, and they would swim forwards," said study author Hermes Gadelha from the University of Bristol in the UK.
Advertisement

Using state-of-the-art 3D microscopy and mathematics, the research team have pioneered the reconstruction of the true movement of the sperm tail in 3D.

Using a high-speed camera capable of recording over 55,000 frames in one second, and a microscope stage with a piezoelectric device to move the sample up and down at an incredibly high rate, they were able to scan the sperm swimming freely in 3D.

While this should mean the sperm's one-sided stroke would have it swimming in circles, sperm have found a clever way to adapt and swim forwards.

"Our discovery shows sperm have developed a swimming technique to compensate for their lop-sidedness and in doing so have ingeniously solved a mathematical puzzle at a microscopic scale: by creating symmetry out of asymmetry," said Gadelha.

According to the researchers, the otter-like spinning of human sperm is however complex: the sperm head spins at the same time that the sperm tail rotates around the swimming direction.

This is known in physics as precession, much like when the orbits of Earth and Mars precess around the sun.

This discovery, with its novel use of 3D microscope technology combined with mathematics, may provide fresh hope for unlocking the secrets of human reproduction.

"With over half of infertility caused by male factors, understanding the human sperm tail is fundamental to developing future diagnostic tools to identify unhealthy sperm," Gadelha noted.

Source: IANS
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
World Hypertension Day 2022 - Measure Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer!
Drinking This Popular Beverage May Drop Dementia Risk
Worst Mistakes Parents Make When Talking to Kids
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Genetics of Male Infertility Artificial Insemination Varicocele Premature Ejaculation Sex Numbers 

Most Popular on Medindia

Post-Nasal Drip Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects Drug - Food Interactions Drug Side Effects Calculator Blood Donation - Recipients Indian Medical Journals Daily Calorie Requirements Vent Forte (Theophylline) Loram (2 mg) (Lorazepam) Hearing Loss Calculator

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use