Sperm swim differently that we thought for past 300 years

Sperm swim differently to how we thought. Rather than undulating their tails symmetrically, like an eel, they have a lopsided wiggle that combines with spinning about their long axis to give an overall forward motion. “The asymmetry cancels out because of the rotation,” says Hermes Gadêlha at the University of Bristol, UK. “They are like otters when they swim in a corkscrew motion.” Human sperm were some of the first living cells to be seen under a microscope, by Dutchman Anton van Leeuwenhoek in 1677, when he viewed his own sperm retrieved after sex with his wife. The scientist later described them as having a “snakelike movement, like eels in water”. And this view persisted until now. Gadê

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