Although, sperm are inseminated in millions each sperm goes it alone. However, under some circumstances it might be advantageous for sperm to cooperate with one another. This is especially likely to be the case when females are promiscuous and sperm of one male have to compete against those of rival males. New research by Dr Simone Immler and colleagues from the University’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences shows that in promiscuous rat and mice, where competition is high, individual sperm cooperate with one another in order to out-compete sperm of rival males.
The research shows that this cooperation is possible only because of to the highly specialised design of rat and mouse sperm. Promiscuous species have a particularly well developed ‘hook shaped’ sperm head which helps individual sperm to hook up to each other and form a ‘group’. These groups of sperm contain five to 100 sperm and they swim faster and stronger than individual sperm which makes them better competitors in the race for the fertilisation of the egg.
Dr Simone Immler said: “It was previously believed that sperm not only competed against rival males but that they also competed against each other in order to fertilise the female egg. However, this research shows that when the pressure from rival males is high, individual sperm will cooperate with one another to ensure that at least one of their siblings successfully reaches the female egg.”
The results will be published on Wednesday 24th January in the freely available, open-access journal – online at www.plosone.org.
Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard
New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Trade Fair News
15.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
15.12.2017 | Information Technology