March 18, 2011

20-Year-Long Sperm Cell Mystery Finally Solved

The Scientist, The Scientist


Carin Cain

Scientists have solved a 20-year mystery regarding the molecular mechanism by which human sperm detect an egg. The answer lies in a unique ion channel that senses progesterone, causing an influx of calcium into the sperm cells.

The finding, published in a pair of papers this week in Nature, provides a clue to some types of male infertility, and could someday be the foundation for a non-hormonal contraceptive.

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TAGGED: Sperm

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