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7.345 The Science of Sperm | Biology

7.345 The Science of Sperm | Biology

Sperm are tiny, haploid cells with a supremely important job: They deliver the paternal genome to the egg, helping create a zygote that develops into a new individual. For a human male, however, only a small fraction of the sperm produced will ever fertilize an egg. Sperm thus experience intense selective pressure: They must compete against each other, navigate a foreign environment in the female reproductive tract, and interact specifically and appropriately with the surface of the egg. These selective pressures can drive extreme changes in morphology and gene function over short evolutionary time scales, resulting in amazing diversity among species. In this course, we will explore the ways in which these unique evolutionary forces contribute to incredible specializations of sperm form and... Show More


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