Having an STI could benefit male animals

Having a sexually transmitted infection and passing it on to a mate could benefit male animals, research from The Australian National University (ANU) has found.

Mosquito protein controls blood feeding

Biting insects use a range of tools when sucking blood from hosts to maximize their chances of a good meal. Only female mosquitos feed on blood, which provides a high level of nutrients for egg production. The saliva of biting ...

New study shows scientists who selfie garner more public trust

Many scientists today have embraced social media as tools to communicate their research and to engage broader audiences in scientific discovery and its outcomes. But the rise of the "social media scientist" has also led communicators ...

Egg yolk precursor protein regulates mosquitoes' attraction to humans

Feeding mosquitoes sugar makes them less attracted to humans, a response that is regulated by the protein vitellogenin, according to a study publishing May 9 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Jessica Dittmer, Paolo ...

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Female

Female (♀) is the sex of an organism, or a part of an organism, which produces mobile ova (egg cells). The ova are defined as the larger gametes in a heterogamous reproduction system, while the smaller, usually motile gamete, the spermatozoon, is produced by the male. A female individual cannot reproduce sexually without access to the gametes of a male (an exception is parthenogenesis). Some organisms can reproduce both sexually and asexually.

There is no single genetic mechanism behind sex differences in different species and the existence of two sexes seems to have evolved multiple times independently in different evolutionary lineages. Other than the defining difference in the type of gamete produced, differences between males and females in one lineage cannot always be predicted by differences in another. The concept is not limited to animals; egg cells are produced by chytrids, diatoms, water moulds and land plants, among others. In land plants, female and male designate not only the egg- and sperm-producing organisms and structures, but also the structures of the sporophytes that give rise to male and female plants.

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