Human Sperm Roll as They Swim

Posted on August 9, 2020

Researchers from the University of Bristol have found that human sperm roll as they swim and rotate like a spinning top. The earlier 2D microscopes were unable to capture this movement.

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek described the movement of sperm as being like "eels in water" in the 17th century. Bristol researchers say in the announcement that the "synchronised spinning causes an illusion when seen from above with 2D microscopes."

Dr Gadelha, head of the Polymaths Laboratory at Bristol's Department of Engineering Mathematics, says, "our discovery shows sperm have developed a swimming technique to compensate for their lop-sidedness and in doing so have ingeniously solved a mathematical puzzle at a microscopic scale: by creating symmetry out of asymmetry."

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