Scientists invent a new technique that sheds light on how sperm swim.
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A new technique has been created to watch sperm swim up close.

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found using the technique that sperm swim in four unique ways.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the scientists have created a technique that allows for a three-dimensional tracking of 1500 sperm at any given moment.

In the past, microscopes have been too limiting for scientists to understand sperm at the cellular level.

The new technique uses the shadows of sperm through two lights of different wavelengths fired from two different angles, said Scientific American.

Using this technique they found that sperm swim in multiple ways.

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This includes: a straight swim not unlike the front crawl; some swim in small circles that move forward; others shot around in different angles and, lastly, some sperm moved all over and then suddenly switched back to making small circles.

Indeed, over a longer period of time sperm tend to use all of these methods to get to their target - the egg.

Scientists found that their movements often depend on what part of the journey they are on - basically, whether they are still in the male or within the female.

It is hoped that the new technology can not only be used in fertility research but also to understand other swimming organisms, said Nature.

The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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