Sperm in space

28 October 2001


Human sperm


SPERM IN SPACE ! A space shuttle ride could increase your fertility, according to new research that shows sperm are affected by gravity.

A group of NASA researchers sent sperm samples from tiny sea urchins on a space shuttle mission - sounds like a weird thing to do, but they wanted to see what happened to sperm in a weightless environment (that's one where there is no gravity).

The sperm turned out to be much more active up in space than they normally are down on earth.

To prove their point, the scientists put some sperm in a centrifuge, which increased the force of gravity. A centrifuge is a machine that spins round and round really fast - just like fairground rides.

The researchers found that the sperm didn't enjoy this particular ride - they were much less active than normal.

So what? I hear you say. Well these results might not seem relevant at the moment but NASA say they will be vitally important to future space colonies!



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