Sperm's Strange, Loopy Swimming Patterns Revealed By UCLA
How do sperm swim?
Any way they can, you answer with a pu-dum-pum added on for effect. But seriously, UCLA researchers used some of your public support to answer this burning question. And the result is surprising:
Most human sperm move in circular motions, clockwise, sort of like a failed rocket launch headed for the sea, according to a study published recently in the journal Scientific Reports.
So what does that mean? Is our man-seed committing Spud-like mass suicide knowing it has little chance of hitting the bullseye? Are the little guys drunk? Do they want to be more like Greg Louganis?
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The academics at UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science aren't entirely sure what it all amounts to yet.
Using a "lens-free holographic microscope," the researchers compared horse sperm and human sperm and found that 85 percent of horse sperm took a similar diving motion but did so counter-clockwise, compared to the 65 percent of human sperm that dove clockwise.
Aydogan Ozcan, an associate professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering:
This type of movement has not been observed before in sperm of any species or other micro-swimmers. Such high-throughput imaging studies of sperm motion can lead to advances in the understanding of fertilization process and might have use in animal-breeding applications in veterinary science.
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