Sperm team up to reach egg in ultimate race to conceive, new study finds

Researchers in North Carolina have discovered that sperm work together to swim upstream through the fallopian tubes to reach an unfertilised egg

Scientists at Cornell University, in New York and North Carolina A&T found that when sperm swim in groups they were able to form a straight line to their destination when there was a current. This made it less likely that they might get washed away. But it found that they were not faster than their rivals who were going it alone.

The study was recently published in the Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology journal and the trials were made when looking at the behaviour of bulls.

Dr Chih-Kuan Tung, one of the co-authors of the review, said: “In general, I would say that identification of movement advantages that are not speed enhanced is not usual, and therefore significant.

“In some ways, we open new avenues for examination of sperm performance.

“In the longer term, our understanding may provide a better selection of sperm used for intervention such as invitro fertilisation or other assisted technologies.”

Learn more about sperm:

Sperm, all you need to know

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