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Video: Scientists Have Discovered The "legibility" Of A Human Egg In Sperm
Scientists have discovered the "legibility" of a human egg in sperm
"Hidden female choice" was first discovered in humans. Scientists believe that new data on the interaction of the sperm with the egg will help cope with infertility in the future.
Photo: CC0 Public Domain
Women's eggs use special chemicals to signal to attract sperm. Scientists have found that eggs can have unexpected selectivity in relation to the sperm of different men. In biology, this phenomenon is called "hidden female choice." A study that first describes this phenomenon in humans is published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
“Human egg cells produce compounds called chemoattractants that attract sperm to the unfertilized egg. We wanted to know if the egg can use these substances to choose which sperm to attract,”explained John Fitzpatrick, a professor at Stockholm University and co-author of the study.
In laboratory experiments, scientists have observed how sperm react to chemoattractants from various eggs. They wanted to know if an egg could attract one man's sperm more than another. It turned out to be possible.
“The idea that the eggs select the sperm is really new when considering human fertility,” said Professor Daniel Brison, director of reproductive medicine at St Mary's Hospital, and senior author of the study.
An interesting conclusion of the scientists was that the egg can more intensively lure sperm not from the partner whom the woman has chosen for a long-term relationship, but from another man. That is, the search for a partner to create offspring continues unconsciously even after the formal formation of a pair.
Professor Fitzpatrick argues that the choice belongs to the egg, not the sperm. Selectivity is alien to sperm cells, their only function is to fertilize.
The study authors believe that data on how eggs and sperm interact will help treat infertility in the future and provide an explanation for individual cases of it.
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