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Why humans impregnate mice

Specialists from the Otto Institute of Midwifery and Gynaecology RAMS, the Department of Genetics and Selection the St. Petersburg State University and the Midwifery and Gynaecology Department of the Hospital of the University of Ghent have tried to find a connection between chromosome defects in human spermatozoids and their external appearance.


The scientists investigated sperm samples from patients from infertile couples, who had externally normal sperm or deviations in spermograms. The spermatozoids of the participants of the experiment were introduced into the ovules of mice using a micromanipulator. After this “impregnation” all chromosomes lay before the researchers, as if on the palm of the hand, and all their anomalies are clearly visible.

It transpired that one should not judge the essence of a male sexual cell by its external appearance. Approximately a quarter of the patients with a regular spermogram had significant deviations in chromotype. And among the knowingly infertile patients with immobile or externally incorrect spermatozoids, the share of chromosome anomalies is about the same as in healthy cases (31-33%). This is why the link between spermatozoid morphology and chromosome disorders could not be established. However it is clear that artificial insemination programs, which do not envisage preliminary individual control over spermatozoids, are a danger to the health of the future children.

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