Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Every sperm is great

Q. What are some of the underappreciated attributes of sperm?

A. I’m fascinated by how determined they are. Sperm — each one seems an individual in the way they move. When they change from one motion to another, it’s fascinating.

Moreover, they have the ability to do much more than most other human cells: they crawl long distances in a short period of time, they can sense their surroundings. In fact, they have molecules that are much the same as olfactory receptors in our noses.

As you watch them under a microscope, you get the sense that they are going somewhere, or at least “think” they are. They surround an egg and vigorously try to fuse with it. They don’t give up until they run out of energy.

Interview of David E. Clapham of Harvard Medical School
from the Science section of the New York Times, January 23, 2007

Plus, they're great at karaoke.

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