Italian scientists search for 'supersperm'

June 13, 2006

A team of scientists from two Italian universities has reportedly developed a technique for identifying "supersperm" for use in fertility treatments.

The method involves inspecting each sperm cell and discarding inferior spermatozoa -- those with pointed heads, double heads, overly round heads, small heads or bent necks, the Italian news agency ANSA reported Tuesday. The remaining sperm cells are then analyzed for their energy levels.

The researchers from the University of Padua and the University of Rome La Sapienza, told ANSA the two-step process increases the likelihood of success in so-called microfertilization, in which a single spermatozoon is inserted into the egg, or ovocyte.

The technique was presented Monday during a biotechnology conference in Rome.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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