Related topics: sperm

Biologists make living sperm glow

How do female insects manage to keep sperm fresh for months after mating? This has been a central question for the sperm biologists of the Chair of Applied Zoology headed by Prof. Dr. Klaus Reinhardt. Now the scientists have ...

Biologists examine sperm quality on the basis of their metabolism

Every tenth couple worldwide is affected by infertility. The reasons for this are manifold, but mostly well researched. Nevertheless, about fifteen percent of cases remain unexplained. A team of biologists at TU Dresden has ...

Liquid crystal droplets as versatile microswimmers

Nature's most common swimmers are single-celled organisms such as microalgae that swim toward light sources, and sperm cells that swim toward an ovum. For a physicist, cells are simply biochemical machines, which must obey ...

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Spermatozoon

A sperm, from the ancient Greek word σπέρμα (seed) and ζῷον (living being) and more commonly known as a sperm cell, is the haploid cell that is the male gamete. It joins an ovum to form a zygote. A zygote is a single cell, with a complete set of chromosomes, that normally develops into an embryo.

Sperm cells contribute half of the genetic information to the diploid offspring. In mammals, the sex of the offspring is determined by the sperm cell: a spermatozoon bearing a Y chromosome will lead to a male (XY) offspring, while one bearing an X chromosome will lead to a female (XX) offspring (the ovum always provides an X chromosome). Sperm cells were first observed by Anton van Leeuwenhoek in 1677.

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