Sperm Movement: Swim 'N' Roll

Human sperm shown to be successful wonky swimmers
17 August 2020
Presented by Chris Smith
Production by Eva Higginbotham.


Sperm swimming towards an egg cell.


New research means we’re going to have to think again about how sperm swim to find the egg. You might have seen movies of them with rounded heads wiggling around, a bit like tadpoles in a pond. The head carries the male’s DNA and the long tail, or flagellum, lashes back and forth to propel the sperm forward. That motion was first described over 300 years ago by Dutch businessman and scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek using one of the earliest microscopes that he helped to invent. But now a joint team from Britain and Mexico think we might need to re-write the textbooks, as Eva Higginbotham heard from Hermes Gadelha...


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