Millennium Post

New structure discovered in human sperm

London: Scientists have identified a never-before-seen structure inside human sperm tails, an advance that may help us understand why some sperms are better swimmers than others. A highly effective tail is needed in order for a sperm to be able to swim, and for a baby to be conceived.

Researchers, including those from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, identified the completely new nanostructure inside sperm tails, using cryo-electron tomography. The method produces 3D images of cellular structures.
The tail is a highly complex machine that consists of around a thousand different types of building blocks.
The most important of these are called tubulins, which form long tubes (microtubules). The tubes are found inside the sperm tail.
Thousands of motorproteins - molecules that can move are affixed to these tubes. By being fixed to one microtubule and "walking on" the adjacent microtubule, the motorproteins in the sperm tail pull and the tail bends, enabling the sperm to swim.

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