Human sperm swims straight through rotating head and swishing tail NOW

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The tail of a human spermatozoid sways only one way when swimming. To go in a straight line, the head turns round, according to a study by scientists who published that in the scientific journal on Friday. Science Advances.

Dutch microbiologist Antoni van Leeuwenhoek saw moving animals in human sperm through his homemade microscope in 1677. He saw that sperm cells moved in a symmetrical pattern as the whip tail moved back and forth.

Scientists from the University of Bristol have taken high-speed images of free-swimming sperm cells with a special 3D microscope. This shows that the tail sways only one way, and that the head then turns, causing the sperm to ‘drill’ through liquid like a corkscrew. If the head didn’t rotate, the sperm cells would swim in a circle.

The new discovery could be a big step in infertility research, a specialist tells the scientific website Science News. Further research remains to be done to determine whether the spermatozoid movements now observed also occur in the female reproductive organ.

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