Sperm Can Do Calculus! Max Planck Institute Study

Published: Mar 08, 2012

Sperm have only one aim: to find the egg. The egg supports the sperm in their quest by emitting attractants. Calcium ions determine the beating pattern of the sperm tail which enables the sperm to move. Together with colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden and the University of Göttingen, scientists from the Caesar Research Centre in Bonn, an institute of the Max Planck Society, have discovered that sperm only react to changes in calcium concentration but not to the calcium concentration itself. Probably sperm make this calculation so that they remain capable of maneuvering even in the presence of high calcium concentrations.

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