Obstetrics & gynaecology

Considering using IVF to have a baby? Here's what you need to know

If it's not you, perhaps it's someone you know. You don't look infertile, you don't feel infertile, but after many months (or years) of trying to start a family, followed by several months of monitoring your cycle in a fertility ...

Genetics

Breakthrough in understanding male infertility

Hope has emerged for infertile men as scientists at Newcastle University have understood the importance of a gene in regulating the production of fully-functioning sperm.

Health

Recurrent miscarriage linked to faulty sperm

The early-stage study, from scientists at Imperial College London, investigated the sperm quality of 50 men whose partners had suffered three or more consecutive miscarriages.

Genetics

Exposure to cannabis alters the genetic profile of sperm

As legal access to marijuana continues expanding across the U.S., more scientists are studying the effects of its active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in teens, adults and pregnant women.

Obstetrics & gynaecology

Duration of infertility in men may affect sperm count

A longer duration of infertility was associated with lower sperm count and other parameters of impaired sperm in a BJU International study of 1644 infertile men. Also, older age and higher body mass index were associated ...

Genetics

Fear that uproar over gene-edited babies could block science

Scientists working on the frontiers of medicine fear the uproar over the reported births of gene-edited babies in China could jeopardize promising research into how to alter heredity to fend off a variety of disorders.

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Sperm

The term sperm is derived from the Greek word (σπέρμα) sperma (meaning "seed") and refers to the male reproductive cells. In the types of sexual reproduction known as anisogamy and oogamy, there is a marked difference in the size of the gametes with the smaller one being termed the "male" or sperm cell. The human sperm cell is haploid, so that its 23 chromosomes can join the 23 chromosomes of the female egg to form a diploid cell. A uniflagellar sperm cell that is motile is referred to as a spermatozoon, whereas a non-motile sperm cell is referred to as a spermatium. Sperm cells cannot divide and have a limited life span, but after fusion with egg cells during fertilization, a totipotent zygote is formed with the potential to develop into a new organism.

The spermatozoa of animals are produced through spermatogenesis inside the male gonads (testicles) via meiotic division. They are carried out of the male body in a fluid known as semen. Mammalian sperm cells can live for up to 3 days inside the female reproductive system.[citation needed]

Sperm cells in algal and many plant gametophytes are produced in male gametangia (antheridia) via mitotic division. In flowering plants, sperm nuclei are produced inside pollen.

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