Related topics: sperm

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 ...

From the tiny testes of flies, new insight into how genes arise

In the battle of the sexes, males appear to have the innovative edge—from a genetic standpoint, at least. Scientists are finding that the testes are more than mere factories for sperm; these organs also serve as hotspots ...

Female flies respond to sensation of sex, not just sperm

Female fruit flies can feel when a sexual partner is a good fit. Scientists have long known that proteins in a male fly's ejaculate make female flies temporarily lose interest in other partners. It's a trick male flies use ...

Screw-shaped bird sperm swim faster—but it comes at a cost

A study by Ph.D. student Hanna Nyborg Støstad has investigated the peculiar spiral shape of songbird sperm. Støstad compared sperm cells of 36 bird species including house sparrows and tree swallows, and found that species ...

Infertility's roots in DNA packaging

Pathological infertility is a condition affecting roughly 7 percent of human males, and among those afflicted, 10 to 15 percent are thought to have a genetic cause. However, pinpointing the precise genes responsible for the ...

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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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