Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Home Lead Story New Study Shatters the Universally Accepted View of How Sperm 'Swim'

New Study Shatters the Universally Accepted View of How Sperm ‘Swim’

Human sperm swims in entirely different way than earlier thought

In a breakthrough for fertility science, scientists have shattered the universally accepted view of how sperm ‘swim’.

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”.

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

Follow NewsGram on Instagram to keep yourself updated.

“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.

“The sperms’ rapid and highly synchronised spinning causes an illusion when seen from above with 2D microscopes – the tail appears to have a side-to-side symmetric movement, like eels in the water, as described by Leeuwenhoek in the 17th century,” Gadelha added.

Human sperm swims in entirely different way than earlier thought
Revealed the sperm tail is, in fact, wonky and only wiggles on one side. Pixabay

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.

The study, published in the journal Science Advances, revealed the sperm tail is, in fact, wonky and only wiggles on one side.

While this should mean the spermm’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.

Human sperm swims in entirely different way than earlier thought
According to the researchers, the otter-like spinning of human sperm is complex. Pixabay

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

Also Read: Consume Vitamins, Minerals to Boost Immunity, Fight Pandemic: Experts

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. (IANS)

STAY CONNECTED

19,144FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,774FollowersFollow

Most Popular

From “Confusion” To “Clarity” Regarding Sanatan Dharma With Dr. Chandra Shekhar Mayanil

Dr. Chandra Shekhar Mayanil is a Neuroscientist who is currently living in Naperville, Illinois. He has constantly been engaging in topics related to Yog...

Top 5 Beach Activities in Asia

Blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Asia has something for everyone. From idyllic white-sand beaches fringed by palm trees...

Here’s Why You Should Switch to Contact Lenses, and It’s Not Just About Looks

Traditionally, we use eyeglasses for correcting vision problems such as near-sightedness (myopia) and far-sightedness (hyperopia). Glasses are both affordable and convenient to wear for...

This Indian Couple Run Street-Side Classes For Poor And Needy Children

On a quiet road in India's capital, tucked away on a wide, red-bricked sidewalk, children set adrift by the country's COVID-19 lockdown are being...

Lockdown Taught Me Greatest Lessons of Life: Mouni Roy

Actress Mouni Roy, who will soon be seen in the digital film, London Confidential, opposite Purab Kohli, says that lockdown taught her some of...

“It is Important To Support Folk Artists and Daily Workers in Trying Times”, Says Popular Singer Shaan

Popular playback singer Shaan says that folk artists and daily workers are keeping the music heritage and industry intact, and it's crucial for the...

Here’s How The Art of “Writing” Became an Empowerment Tool For These Female Authors

By Siddhi Jain Being a female author can come with its own set of challenges, especially when one is trying to juggle a career in...

Self-Driving Cars To Navigate Rush Hour Traffic On This Planet: NASA

A laser-based technology designed to help spacecraft land on a proverbial dime for missions to the Moon and Mars is also helping self-driving cars...

Recent Comments