Tag Archives | Sperm

German Scientists Find Ancient Giant Sperm

PIC: Renate Matzke-Karasz (C)

PIC: Renate Matzke-Karasz (C)

The mother-lode! (Deposit your own sperm jokes in the comment section below.)

The oldest petrified sperm ever discovered is gargantuan, at least for a gamete.

The sperm comes from the early Miocene epoch, between about 23 million and 16 million years ago, and belonged to a tiny crustacean called a seed shrimp or ostracod. Seed shrimp are bivalves like muscles, but sport tiny appendages that make them look like walking beans. Though they  measure just millimeters long, their sperm often reaches more than 0.4 inches (1 centimeter) in length.

The new fossilized sperm comes from an ancient cave deposit in Australia, where bat guano falling into the water may have helped preserve the cells.

“We can distinguish the typical helical organization of the organelles in the sperm cell, which makes its surface look like a hawser or cable,” study researcher Renate Matzke-Karasz, a geobiologist at Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Germany, said in a statement.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Eating Bacon Lowers Men’s Sperm Count (So Eat Fish!)

Sorry gents, but if you want lots of healthy sperm, cut out the bacon and start eating fish. The Age reports:

Just one rasher of bacon a day can damage a man’s fertility, while eating a portion of white fish such as cod or halibut every other day can improve it, researchers have suggested.640px-NCI_bacon
The study by Harvard University on 156 men in couples suffering problems conceiving examined their diet and the size and shape of their sperm.

Researchers found that men who regularly ate processed meat had significantly lower amounts of normal sperm, compared with those who limited the amount of foods like bacon, sausages, hamburgers, ham and mince.
On average, those who ate the equivalent of less than a rasher of bacon a day had 30 per cent more normal sperm than those who ate higher quantities of processed meats.

Meanwhile, those who ate a portion of white fish every other day had a similar edge over those who ate foods such as cod more rarely.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Preformationist Explanation Of Reproduction And The Creation Of Life

Preformationism—one of the dominant scientific theories of the 18th century—is the belief that a tiny tree is hidden inside every seed, and a tiny person curled up inside every sperm. Via Wikipedia:

In the history of biology, preformationism (or preformism) is the idea that organisms develop from miniature versions of themselves. Instead of assembly from parts, preformationists believe that the form of living things exist, in real terms, prior to their development. It suggests that all organisms were created at the same time, and that succeeding generations grow from homunculi that have existed since the beginning of creation.

Pythagoras is one of the earliest thinkers credited with ideas about the origin of form in the biological production of offspring. It is said that he originated “spermism”, the doctrine that fathers contribute the essential characteristics of their offspring while mothers contribute only a material substrate.

The groundbreaking scientific insights provided by Galileo and Descartes seemed to support preformationism.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The USA Is The Top Exporter Of Sperm

USA! USA! So says CBS News:
But why? It's largely due to America's reputation as the gold standard in sperm, Time magazine senior editor Jeffrey Kluger said Thursday on CBS This Morning. "As with any other good product, the two keys are quality control and versatility, variety of product. We have very, very strict (Food and Drug Administration) controls on who can donate and how heavily they have to be screened. We also have a multi-ethnic population, which means we're very appealing to the world because people can come in from Japan, from Brazil, anywhere else and find a genetically, ethnically matching baby." There are now nearly 700 sperm banks in the U.S., according to the Food and Drug Administration. The fertility industry in the U.S. has grown from $979 million in 1988 to a projected $4.3 billion in 2013, according to Marketdata, an industry analysis and market studies publisher. Men are paid based on quality standards, such as their level of health, height and education. A man can make $500 per donation, and up to $60,000 annually, according to the Time magazine report...
Continue Reading