About the episode
Sperm must make an exhausting journey through hostile waters sometimes as thick as melted cheese, to end up with an egg that can also show you the door.
We have already seen that sperm often pull towards each other while swimming, without being attached to each other.
Except, incidentally, in the wood mouse, in which the spermatozoa connect to pass by the solitary swimmers like a kind of express train. This is not the case with humans. These teams of sperm are no faster than a single individual. Why would you go swimming in a group anyway?
To find out, the researchers swam bovine sperm – which look like ours, I didn’t know that either – in all sorts of white water courses based on different parts of the female reproductive system. They saw several advantages of forming groups: with no current or with light currents, it helped the sperm to stay on their path and with a strong current, they were better protected against washing out.
An important finding that they want to explore further because even the smallest details of how sperm move can be important for fertility research.
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