Crawl or Butterfly? Sperm does it mathematically.

Researchers have developed a mathematical formula based on the rhythmic movement of a sperm’s head and tail, which significantly reduces the complexities of understanding and predicting how sperm make the difficult journey towards fertilising an egg.

Researchers at the Universities of York, Birmingham, Oxford and Kyoto University, Japan, found that the sperm’s tail creates a characteristic rhythm that pushes the sperm forward, but also pulls the head backwards and sideways in a coordinated fashion.

Successful fertility relies on how a sperm moves through fluid, but capturing details of this movement is a complicated issue.

The team aim to use these new findings to understand how larger groups of sperm behave and interact, a task that would be impossible using modern observational techniques. The work could provide new insights into treating male infertility. … (University of York)

Credit: University of York