Findings Sperm Movement Swim like Drill Pulled, Here’s the Reason – For more than 300 years, most scientists assumed that sperm “swim” through the liquid by wiggling its tail back and forth like an eel to propel itself forward.

But a research article published in Science Advances July 31, 2020 edition, said that it was actually an optical illusion, because it was seen with a 2D microscope.

The research article entitled “Human sperm uses asymmetric and anisotropic flagellar controls to regulate swimming symmetry and cell steering,” observes sperm with a 3D microscope.

Here, research combines molecular and microscopic observations, linking structure to function, by demonstrating that human sperm use asymmetric and anisotropic control for swimming.

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They also observed the flagellum or flagella, which are mobile, whip-like appendages that are found in a wide variety of eukaryotic organisms and are essential for the reproduction of nearly all species.

Until now, it has been the norm that human sperm swim forward simply by moving their flagellum symmetrically from side to side.

Sperm illustration (Shutterstock).

Well, the researchers here reveal that the tails of human sperm spin when they swim, like beavers or movements bor.

“With more than half of infertility attributable to male factors, understanding human sperm tails is critical for developing future diagnostic tools to identify unhealthy sperm,” said co-author Hermes Gadelha from the University of Bristol. Ars Technica.

Fertility clinics currently still rely on 2D viewing when examining sperm movement, so this new research is expected to provide a better understanding of how sperm tails move, which in turn could lead to better diagnostic tools.

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“This discovery will revolutionize our understanding of sperm motility and its impact on natural fertilization,” said co-author Alberto Darszon of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, who pioneered the 3D microscopy technique with co-author Gabriel Corkidi.

Sperm dies i.e. the ability of sperm to move, is one of the key fertility metrics that doctors look to when assessing male fertility

“So little is known about the complex environment within the female reproductive tract and how Sperm swimming interfere with fertilization. This new tool opens our eyes to the amazing abilities that sperm have.”

But unfortunately a month later, the authors of the study told Science Advances concerning the concern that, upon re-examination, part of the mathematical analysis in the paper could not fully prove or disprove the core conclusion of the article, namely that flagellar beats in human sperm are asymmetric.

In the latest information, Science Advances officially retracted the research article on 19 May 2021.

After the publication of the article, the reader identified that although the experimental data and analysis of the 3D flagella were good, conclusions about flagella asymmetry and anisotropy could not be drawn unequivocally using only 3D flagella waveform data.

Therefore, the description of asymmetry and anisotropy in the article is incomplete, so that no strong evidence can be drawn that sperm swim with drill-like movements.


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