5 facts about sperm
20 November 2014, 08:13
Nairobi - When it comes to making babies, sperm is a very important factor. There are some really strange and wonderful developments and facts about sperm that you may not know.
1. Why small males have big sperm
The moment the female squid lays her eggs, smaller 'sneaker' males place packages of sperm near her mouth in the hope that their sperm may have a chance of fertilizing the eggs. Researchers found that this sperm is larger than that of the bigger males who mate directly with the female. "Sperm size is likely to be an adaptation to fertilization environment," said Dr Yoko from the University of Tokyo.
2. Giant sperm for little flies
Drosophila bifurca is a species of fruit fly. This little insect may seem insignificant but his sperm can be up to 5.8cm long when uncoiled! The humble fruit fly holds the title of having the longest sperm cells of any organism on Earth.
3. Mouse sperm could help infertile couples
Researchers in Japan used embryonic stem cells to grow healthy mouse sperm, a development which could help treat human infertility. The research with mouse sperm could lead to developments where human sperm is grown and used to fertilise a human embryo.
4. What's in sperm?
Did you know that in the average volume of semen produced in a single ejaculation (which varies from 2 to 5 ml) contains citric acid, free amino acids, fructose, enzymes, phosphorylcholine, prostaglandin, potassium, and zinc!
5. Sperm that glows
Watch this amazing video of modified fly semen travelling through a female fly's reproductive system. This could help scientists work out how to treat infertility in humans in the future.
Watch the video here
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