Listen up, sperm news enthusiasts!
For the first time eva, researchers have sequenced the entire genome of the human sperm cell!
This potentially will help us understand the genetic mixing that ensures that babies end up with an even blend of DNA — and might even have "far-ranging implications for the study of cancer, infertility and many other disorders."
They took the 'underpants navy' (not a technical term) from a 40 year old dude, who was healthy and had healthy kids.
Then they sequenced the shizz out of 91 of the sperm cells.
They found that there was a huge variability between the cell, such as two of them were missing entire chromosome!
When the DNA reshuffles itself with the egg, that's when we get the blend between parents. We just didn't really know much about it.
Until now — they found that recombination occured 23 times, on average, in the sperm cells:
'Some cells had more recombined genes more than others, however, and the rate of genetic mutations between cells varied widely, the researchers reported. They identified between 25 and 36 single-nucleotide mutations in each sperm cell. Some of these mutations could be beneficial, others could be harmful or even deadly to an embryo.'
All of this means they can now look at someone and make some educated guesses as to what they're about to contribute to a new baby… while possibly diagnosing or detecting potential problems!
So freakin' cool!
Science! Science! Science!
[Image via AP Images.]