About the episode
Sperm cells must make an arduous journey through hostile waters sometimes as thick as melted cheese, only to end up with an egg that can also show you the door.
It has already been observed that sperm cells often attract each other while swimming, without sticking to each other.
Except, by the way, in the wood rat, where sperm cells bond to outgrow single swimmers like some kind of bullet train. This is not the case in humans. This difference of sperm cells is not faster than a single individual. Why go swimming in a group anyway?
To find out, the researchers had bovine sperm cells — which look similar to ours, I also didn’t know — swimming in all kinds of whitewashes based on different parts of the female reproductive system. They saw several advantages of group formation: with no or light currents, it helped the sperm cells stay on course, and with a strong current, they were better protected against drift.
An important discovery that they want to explore further because even the smallest details about how sperm move could be important to fertility research.
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